January 29, 2016 – Payday loan spikes are a result of Christy Clark’s failure on wages and affordability

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moneybagVICTORIA— Stagnant wage growth under the Christy Clark government and her constant fee increases have contributed to the growing reliance by working British Columbians on payday loans.

“Payday loans are a symptom of the way that the Christy Clark government has made life less affordable,” said Carole James, New Democrat finance spokesperson. “While families have to pay more for everything under Christy Clark’s government, wage growth has been the slowest in the country.”

Vancity reported this week that the number of payday loans in B.C. increased by 58 per cent between 2012 and 2014, with many working British Columbians left poor and relying on this expensive form of lending just to meet their necessities.

James cited the fact that British Columbia has seen the lowest wage growth in the country since Premier Clark launched The BC Jobs Plan, and that we have consistently had one of the highest rates of poverty.

Christy Clark’s government impose increases to taxes and fees year after year. Her government more than doubled the unfair medical services tax since 2001, increasing it every year since Christy Clark became premier. Meanwhile, they’ve increased the average hydro bill by over $520 and the average ICBC premium by $270.

James said that fee increases under Premier Clark haven’t ended there, “Ferry fares, park fees, tuition, tolls, transit, pharmacare and much more have all spiked upwards under the Christy Clark government.”

James said that the only people who have seen relief from Christy Clark’s government are the wealthiest two per cent who received a $270 million tax break they didn’t even ask for.

“The Christy Clark government has made it expensive just to live,” said James. “Relying on payday loans makes it too expensive to be poor.”

John Horgan and the New Democrats are calling on Christy Clark to follow the lead of every other province and develop a comprehensive poverty reduction plan.