Long Overdue: Why BC Needs a Poverty Reduction Plan
Long Overdue: Why BC Needs a Poverty Reduction Plan was co-published by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA), the United Way of the Lower Mainland and the BC Poverty Reduction Coalition.
The report finds that approximately half of those living below the poverty line are either the working poor or children of the working poor. The report also finds that:
- Income for those on social assistance is not just below the poverty line, but thousands of dollars below it. A single person receiving basic welfare of $610 per month has an annual income that reaches less than 40 per cent of the poverty line.
- Someone working full-time year round at the minimum wage of $10.85/hour earns about $3,500 a year less than the poverty line for a single person.
- Costs for core essentials like housing, child care, energy/electricity and food have increased much faster than incomes, and escalating prices of these essentials are placing additional stress on the already-tight budgets of low-income families.
Essential elements of a comprehensive poverty reduction plan outlined in the report include:
- Significantly increasing welfare and disability rates and indexing them to inflation.
- Increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour and indexing it to inflation.
- Building 10,000 new social and co-op housing units annually.
- Adopting the $10-a-day child care plan, which includes free child care for those earning less than $40,000.
To download the entire report, click here.