Does Vermont need to raise the minimum wage?

Published: Feb. 24, 2021 at 4:22 PM EST
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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - State and federal minimum wages are not keeping up with the cost of living-- that’s according to a new report from legislative economists.

Vermont’s liveable wage is what’s needed for a full-time worker to pay for half of their living costs-- rent, bills, groceries and other costs for a household of two-- without including children.

Our minimum wage stands at $11.75 and will increase to $12.55 next year. But that’s short of the estimated $13.39 Vermont liveable wage.

The Public Assets Institute, a left-leaning think tank, says this data shows the need to increase the minimum wage and adjust the earned income tax credit to level the playing field.

“Minimum wage needs to be increased and [earned income tax credit] needs to be expanded, so it’s providing more of a supplement for families’ income and also more of a supplement for more individuals who don’t qualify or qualify at very low wages right now for the earned income tax credit,” said Julie Lowell of the Public Assets Institute.

But Lowell acknowledges many employers don’t have the resources to increase wages right away.

A $15 an hour minimum wage is being considered in President Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID relief plan.

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