Thursday, 30 January 2014

The Minimum Wage Debate - From A Single Mom

Minimum wage right now is $10.25 an hour; before taxes, working a 40 hour work week and not including stat pay etc. that’s a yearly income of $21, 320.

Current taxes on income under $43, 953 is 15% so you’re figuring about $3, 198 in taxes, leaving you $18, 122.

You’ll more than likely be receiving baby bonus (CCTB and UCB) in and around $450 a month (per child, UCB is also only until your child is 6).

We’ll add that “income” of $5,400 to your total income from working, after taxes, giving you a total income for the year of $23,522. Not bad!

Your two bedroom apartment costs you around $800 (I’m using an example from the Waterloo area) a month plus utilities… so let’s say…. $960 total a month, sound fair? So that expense runs you about $11,520 a year in housing costs. $12,002 after all of that seems pretty fair! Right?

Well… now we have to factor in the daycare costs associated with going back to work as a single parent with no help or family to watch your child. You go to apply for daycare subsidy and…. low and behold! A massive wait list due to region budget cost cuts. Look who has to pay for daycare… in full!

The YMCA, a licensed daycare provider, charges approximately $50 a day for an 8-hour shift (this includes a half hour each way travel time, so 9 hours total). This is about $250 a week totalling $13, 000 a year.

What was that figure we came up with earlier, income after rent? $12, 002 right?… so

$12, 002 - $13, 000…. is…. $-998.

Seems legit.

Now this isn’t even including a bus pass, car insurance, food… clothing… etc. etc.

If you’re lucky enough to receive child support from the dad, that’s a different matter. But even still, it’s barely enough to live by.

This is why we have so many families below the poverty line, especially in our region. Our local soup kitchen feeds upwards of 200 people a day for lunch, the food bank’s numbers I can’t find on the internet but I’m sure they dole out a LOT of food as well.

This is why our minimum wage needs to be raised.