For the first time in the eight years it’s been tracked, the living wage in Vancouver has dropped.
And the federal government is getting credit.
The latest report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives pegs the hourly wage two working parents with two young children need to get by as $20.64 an hour.
That’s down four cents from the year before.
Living Wage for Families campaign organizer Deanna Ogle says the credit goes to the Liberal’s Canada Child Benefit.
“What this demonstrates is that public policy can have a really positive impact on the lives of families.”
Ogle says four cents doesn’t sound like much, but actually is – considering how much costs for families have increased over the last year.
The living wage includes basic food, $1650 in rent for a three-bedroom place, basic transportation, and household expenses.
But Ogle admits it’s a very conservative budget.
“What it doesn’t include is debt repayment or savings for future plans like purchasing a home, or children’s education. So it is a very bare bones calculation and I think it speaks to the unaffordability of Metro Vancouver that many families feel that they are struggling to get by.”
Ogle says the Canada Child Benefit has helped give more cash to families who need it, and has helped counteract the rising cost of living.