-M. A. Kabir
As Canada draws closer to a federal election, how far a dollar goes and whether Canada is on the brink of recession are among the major issues for voters, according to a new poll. “There is an overwhelming focus on the economy and it doesn’t matter whether you are someone voting for.
Both men (47 per cent) and women (61 per cent) said the rising cost of living was among their Top 5 issues. Every age group and income level agreed.
Same with Conservative, NDP, and Liberal voters who said the rising cost of living was their main concern (55 per cent, 55 per cent, and 52 per cent, respectively).
Let’s talk about the cost of living in Toronto as now a day’s it is one of the major concern for average income level of people. Basically the phrase “cost of living” refers to a measure of the cost of sustaining a certain standard of living. Cost-of-living indexes can be used to compare salaries across different areas. A cost-of-living adjustment calculation may be used to increase certain kinds of income such as contracts, pensions or government benefits so they can keep up with increasing basic living costs, as represented by the CPI or cost – of – living indexes. In general, cost-of-living adjustments to your salary will be determined by your employer.
Minimum wage in Ontario was due to go up in January to $15 an hour before Doug Ford’s Ontario Conservatives axed the planned wage hike. Now, that number is staying at $14 an hour, which is still the second highest minimum wage in the entire country. But, even the current hourly wage is not livable in many Canadian cities, especially Toronto.
As the annual income you would earn making minimum wage isn’t even comparable to the average cost of living in Toronto. In fact, the cost of living in the city is at least $6000 more a year than the average annual earnings of a full-time employee making minimum wage. With the Ontario minimum wage at $14 an hour, someone working 40 hours a week – which is considered full time, including holidays – will only be earning on average $26,320 annually. That number is also before taxes or other government deductions. Meanwhile, in Toronto, the average cost of living is around $32,885 per year.
Even if you cut out the “luxuries” like the internet, entertainment, and fitness expenses, your annual cost of living is $26,207.76. Meaning you are only saving around $100 at the end of the year – and that’s living completely bare bones, without a cell phone, internet, and no form of entertainment or going out for the entire year. The fact that people are being forced to cut back on their quality of life just to barely make ends meet is a big problem in Ontario and Canada. But, it’s not just Doug Ford’s fault. While the $15 an hour wage increase would have helped, it’s not enough.
Even with an increased wage of $15 an hour, in the city of Toronto, that wouldn’t be considered a living wage. The average annual income of someone making $15 an hour is still only $28,200, or $4000 less than the average cost of living in the city. That means that the municipal government also needs to play a role in making Toronto more affordable for people. Whether it’s through reduced transit costs, more affordable housing options, or through companies providing more reasonable phone plans so that people are able to at least have a chance at covering all their monthly expenses.