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When wages are not enough: policy options to help B.C. workers make ends meet

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Thesis type
(Project) M.P.P.
Date created
Some full-time workers in British Columbia do not earn enough to afford basic necessities such as shelter, food and clothing. This study proposes and assesses policy alternatives available to the provincial government to assist these workers in achieving an acceptable standard of living. An overview of relevant economic theory and current government benefit programs is provided and a simple model is constructed to estimate the net income of a household after benefits and deductions. The calculation is done for four hypothetical households and the outcomes for each household are compared for four proposed policy alternatives. The alternatives are then evaluated against a multi-criteria framework. The study recommends that the provincial minimum wage be raised to $10 per hour and that the increase be accompanied by an adjustment to the Rental Assistance Program to allow beneficiaries to keep a greater portion of their housing subsidy.
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