Nova Scotia’s living wages are calculated annually to reflect changing living expenses.
Nova Scotia’s living wage rates for 2022 are: Annapolis Valley ($22.40), Cape Breton ($20.00), Halifax ($23.50), Northern ($20.40), and Southern ($22.55). The wages all increased from between 5% and 8%.
These increases are due to cost increases (for shelter, food, gas, in particular) and little improvement in tax credits or income transfers. The living wage is the hourly rate at which a household can meet its basic needs (the expenses in the living wage budget), once government transfers are added to the family’s income (such as the Canada Child Benefit or GST credit), and deductions have been subtracted (such as income taxes and Employment Insurance premiums).
This year’s calculations underline the importance of ensuring government income transfers are adequate and that our tax system is progressive. Moreover, the calculations underscore the importance of providing non-income, non-market-based solutions for essentials.