October 17, 2000 -- The cost of living in Halton has risen, according to the latest figures from the Cost of Living in Halton 2000 published by the Halton Social Planning Council and Volunteer Centre. Despite appearances of an upturned economy, the Council worries that more families and individuals cannot afford to live in Halton and purchase the basic necessities of life.
This is the third brochure in a series on The Cost of Living in Halton, which is published by the Council as part of our efforts to raise awareness and educate the community about the issue of income security and citizens' basic needs - food, shelter, clothing, child care and transportation. The latest figures show that the "basic" cost of living in 2000 for a family of four is $29,064 annually.
The Council gathers data on a number of costs for a typical family of four consisting of two adults and two children (one requiring child care) in Halton. The bare minimum or "basic" costs (food, rent, clothing, child care and transportation) are then totalled to produce a figure for the annual cost of living. It does not include other costs such as furnishings, gas, hydro, telephone, toiletries, cleaning supplies, school and recreation costs, although some people may consider these as "basics."
The brochure documents an increase of $3,168 in the cost of living, rising to $29,064 from last year's figure of $25,896. This is attributed to higher food costs, increased rent, increased child care costs and increased transportation costs in the Region.
Other information contained in the report includes the Employment Insurance caseload, the number of households waiting for social housing and the income for an individual working at minimum wage and a family on social assistance.
"We have seen a definite increase in the cost of living in Halton," said Lynne Russell, Social Planner at the Halton Social Planning Council "making it more difficult for families and individuals to afford the costs necessary for basic survival. Of particular concern are families on social assistance, who experienced a 22% cut in their social assistance cheques in 1995 and the working poor that have endured a frozen minimum wage of $6.85 since 1995. These people cannot feed, clothe or house their families and live with a degree of dignity."
The brochure is available by contacting Community Development Halton.
For More Information Contact:
Lynne Russell, Social Planner
Community Development Halton
860 Harrington Court, Burlington, ON L7N 3N4
Tel: 905-632-1975, 905-878-0955