Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit
Many people in our community don’t earn enough at their jobs to make ends meet and therefore face impossible choices like buying food or paying the rent; heating the apartment or fixing the car. This creates constant anxiety about the present and the future. People living on a low income have higher rates of chronic diseases like diabetes and self‑reported poor physical and mental health.
Income‑based solutions are critical to address the poor health outcomes related to living on a low income.
What is a Living Wage?
Business organizations across Ontario are promoting the concept of a living wage, and encouraging businesses to be a Living Wage Employer. A living wage is the hourly wage a worker needs to earn to cover their family’s basic expenses within their community. The Living Wage in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark is $17.07 and 39% of people in our communities earn below a living wage.
What can you do to support people in our communities? Find out more about being a Living Wage Employer. Share what you have, help out a family member, neighbour or friend.
“Now that a local living wage has been calculated, local employers can volunteer to be recognized as a Living Wage business” states Tanis Brown, Registered Nurse.
For more information on the Living Wage and other ways to ensure all people in our communities have the resources they need to live healthy lives, visit https://healthunit.org/about/health‑equity/ or call 1‑800‑660‑5853.
It’s all well and good to suggest that all employers should pay what you determine to be a living wage but, the question remains where is the money going to come from. Should the business owner who takes all the risk give up what is left of his or her profit to pay the increase? Should the restaurateur raise prices to cover increased costs then see losses as people no longer patronize the business? Should we increase taxes to subsidize low salaries and if so where are pensioners going to find that money.
Good intentions but there really is no Santa Claus here.