3. Why are the 2019 living wages lower?

Even though costs are increasing steeply for rent and other basic necessities, the cost of living for families with children is lower in 2019 thanks to the provincial government’s new child care policies. Median rent costs for a three-plus bedroom unit in Revelstoke have increased by $159/mo from $1,641 to $1,800, a whopping 9.7%. Utilities, food, clothing and footwear, and owning and operating a vehicle are also now more expensive. 

However, the Province’s new child care investments are saving BC families thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket costs of child care – enough to offset all other increases in the cost of living and lower the living wages this year. The new Affordable Child Care Benefit is reducing child care costs for up to 80,000 families across the province, according to government estimates. Meanwhile, the vast majority of licensed child care providers have opted in to the Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative, introduced last year. In Revelstoke, the living wage family saves a further $5,292 on their child care expenses, compared to 2018. 

This is a win for BC families with children. However, we know that costs continue to be high for all family types include those without children, single people, and seniors. For these and more family types, the cost of living did not go down this year, and therefore more needs to be done to ensure these groups can also enjoy an attainable cost of living in their communities. 

The living wage is also impacted by the reduction of MSP premiums (which was cut by 50 per cent in January 2018 and will be completely eliminated in 2020). 

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?