5. Why do you calculate for a family of four/ What about other family types?

The Living Wage for Families Campaign calculates the cost of living for a family with two young children because we are focused on child and family poverty. Using the calculation for a family of four also provides a good representation of the possible costs that the majority of types of family units, from families with many children to lone parent families to single person households, might incur throughout their lives. The most common family type across BC is two parents with two children.

While the living wage calculation is based on the needs of two-parent families with young children, it would also support a family throughout life so that young adults are not discouraged from having children and older workers have some extra income as they age. The point of the living wage calculation is to provide a benchmark around what it costs to live in a community, and to raise the discussion about why we have such endemic poverty in Canada and the broad range of supports needed to address it.

In most communities, the living wage is also enough for a single parent with one child to get by. This was the case in Metro Vancouver until the 2012 living wage update but since 2012, the living wage is no longer sufficient for a single parent with one child in Metro Vancouver. This is because the cost of living is rising fast but too many programs intended for low-income families (such as the BC rental assistance program) have income thresholds that are much too low and the subsidy amounts provided have not kept up with the actual expenses that they are meant to defray (such as rent or child care fees). As a result, families are left with large out-of-pocket costs even if they qualify for assistance.

Without the Province’s investments into child care, living wages across the province would have increased considerably this year. In Revelstoke, the 2019 living wage without child care subsidies would have been $21.14 per hour – a shocking 9.1% increase over the 2018 living wage.

This is a call to action for the provincial government to invest more in family expenses other than child care, in order to ensure families without children also benefit from reduced expenses.

Show All Answers

1. 1. What are the living wages in BC?
2. 2. How is the 2019 living wage different from previous years?
3. 3. Why are the 2019 living wages lower?
4. 4. Are all families with children benefitting from these new child care investments?
5. 5. Why do you calculate for a family of four/ What about other family types?
6. 6. What about housing expenses?
7. 7. What should employers pay this year?
8. 8. What is the living wage/ How is the living wage calculated?
9. 9. Why is the living wage calculated every year?
10. 10. Why does the living wage vary across the province?
11. 11. How does the living wage compare to the minimum wage?
12. 12. Should the living wage become the minimum wage?
13. 13. Does this relate to the provincial government’s new legislation on employment standards?