(Black Press file photo)

Household expenses up in B.C. but living wage has gone down

Housing and child care two biggest costs in living wage calculation

Household expenses for raising a family in B.C. have increased from 2018 to 2019 but the living wage for some families has gone down.

The Community Social Planning Council (CSPC) of Greater Victoria released its 2019 Living Wage report Wednesday.

The report said new government policy initiatives like the Affordable Child Care Benefit, the Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative and cuts to Medical Services Plan premiums outweighed the increased cost of living and reduced the wage needed to form a living wage.

“This demonstrates that good government policy can be an effective tool for reducing poverty,” said Diana Gibson, CSPC senior researcher and co-author of the report.

READ ALSO: Number of adults living with parents has doubled since 1995

Gibson said it also shows the opportunities for making change in other key areas that are driving the cost of living, like housing.

The living wage is the hourly wage that two working parents with two young children, aged four and seven, must earn to meet their basic expenses — like rent, child care, food and transportation — once government taxes, credits, deductions and benefits have been taken into account.

The family living wage for the region is calculated annually by the CSPC of Greater Victoria.

A $19.39 hourly wage is needed to cover the costs of raising a family in Greater Victoria, down from $20.50 per hour in 2018.

“A $19.39 hourly wage may seem high to some, but it is based on a bare-bones budget for a family of four in our region,” Gibson said. “It doesn’t include any savings for vacations, childrens’ education, retirement, caring for elderly parents or home purchase.”

READ ALSO: Young professionals leaving Vancouver over high cost of housing

According to the CSPC, housing and child care are the two biggest costs in the living wage calculation.

Over the last year, the median rent for a three or more bedroom unit in Greater Victoria has gone up by $135 per month, a more than eight per cent increase.

Halena Seiferling, campaign organizer for the Living Wage for Families Campaign, said the cost of living is on a long-term upward trend.

“The cost of living in the Greater Victoria region is one of the highest in B.C.,” Seiferling said.

shalu.mehta@goldstreamgazette.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Saanich preschool celebrates 30 years with reunion event

Thousands invited RSVP for Carrot Seed Preschool 30-year celebration

Belgian man searches for family of fallen First World War soldier from Victoria

Mark Edward Berton attended Victoria High School and has his grave in Flanders Field

Sidney Museum’s Chief Dan George exhibition sees surge of interest

Four mayors, federal Green leader, Tsartlip reps to attend June 21 opening ceremony

Oak Bay artist co-op highlights autobiographical Snapshots showcase

Snapshots runs from June 4 to 22 at Gage Gallery, 2031 Oak Bay Ave.

Federal government actions hurt Sooke hatchery fundraising efforts

Funding denial comes on the heels of fishing closures

REPLAY: The best videos from across B.C. this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week in the province

Mistrial declared in Jamie Bacon’s trial

Bacon was on trial for counselling to commit the murder of Person X

B.C. VIEWS: Money-laundering melodrama made for TV

Public inquiry staged to point fingers before 2021 election

Canadian homebuyers escaping high housing costs by moving to secondary cities

In British Columbia, exurbs have grown in the Hope Valley and Kamloops

Feds lay out proposed new rules for voice, video recorders in locomotives

Transport Canada wants to limit use of recorders to if a crew’s actions led to a crash

Raptors beat Bucks 100-94 to advance to franchise’s first-ever NBA Finals

Leonard has 27 points, 17 boards to lead Toronto past Milwaukee

Third person charged in death of B.C. teen found in torched SUV

Inderdeep Kaur Deo facing charge of accessory after the fact to murder

Kamloops girl, 9, recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning now out of ICU

Her mother who was sleeping in the same tent with her did not survive

‘I think he’s still alive’: B.C. mom pleads for help finding son last seen a month ago

Family offering $5,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Tim Delahaye

Most Read