Something has to give.
Prices are rising faster than the daily temperatures during a heat dome and the cost to most people can’t just be measured in dollars and cents. It’s taking a huge toll on those forced to make choices on what to purchase and, that in turn, obviously affects the economy in other ways.
Unless you’re making an unlimited income, the extra tug on the wallet is becoming a huge burden. The living wage for 2021 in Cowichan has been determined to be $19.13 an hour. It’s safe to say a lot of people are making less.
Even at that so-called living wage, what kind of buying power does an individual have? We already know housing prices are far out of reach for young people and those who haven’t gotten into the skyrocketing market previously are mostly out of luck.
The percentage of one’s wages now required to pay for housing – be it a mortgage or rent – doesn’t leave much for anything else. As a result, people with other regular monthly expenses are falling behind on payments.
But there’s no way housing should take such a large chunk of income for anyone. When we can expect some sense of normalcy remains to be seen, if it ever happens.
Housing issues for the homeless are well-documented, but it’s also becoming unaffordable for other segments of the population that once were thought to be doing OK.
It’s a situation without a logical solution at this point. What’s the upper limit going to be for an average house on the Island? Could it go to something like $3 million? What kind of life will we all be leading if that occurs?
The cost of fuel is also nearing record levels. All the talk of getting people out of their cars and into transit, bikes and mystery trains that are probably never going to run on the Island makes no difference. People are going to keep forking out the dough, no matter what it costs, for fuel and cut back elsewhere.
Now we have food prices added into the mix. And if you want to make healthier choices, well, that’s obviously going to cost you big-time, too.
It all boils down to big troubles trying to make ends meet.