New data released by the Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives highlights how much more money people need to live in Metro Vancouver than in previous years.
According to the data released on Tuesday, the living wage for Metro Vancouver is $ 20.52, which is more than $ 5 higher than BC’s minimum wage and $ 1.02 higher than the previous calculation made in 2019.
The level salary is calculated as the hourly amount a person must earn to cover basic expenses, including rent, childcare, food and transport. It also takes into account income support and available public services.
“The reality is that a number of families across BC are earning less than a living wage and struggling to cope with rising living costs, particularly housing costs,” said Anastasia French, Living Wage for Families BC organizer, in a news release.
The CCPA said the most significant cost increases were from housing, which rose 8.6 percent, and telecommunications, which rose six percent.
While a pandemic-related rent freeze prevented house prices from rising even higher, the organization said the average monthly rent for a three-bedroom unit rose by $ 147 in October 2020 to $ 1,850.
The CCPA credits provincial investment in childcare to prevent living wage increases even further.
“This year’s calculation shows the impact of changes in public policy since 2018, particularly significant childcare investment, the new BC Child Opportunity Benefit and the elimination of MSP premiums, as well as other small changes in public transfers and taxes,” French said.
“These changes have helped offset the increase in family spending since 2018, and improve the affordability of modest and middle-income families with young children, demonstrating the strength of good public policy to make life more affordable for families.”
No level wage calculation was made in 2020 due to unprecedented changes and disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Here the living wage is calculated for other parts of the province:
- Fraser Valley: $ 16.75, up from $ 15.54 in 2019
- Greater Victoria: $ 20.46, up from $ 19.39 in 2019
- Kamloops: $ 16.71, up from $ 15.93 in 2019
- Kelowna: $ 18.49, data not collected in 2019