How Much Money You Need To Make To Live 'With Dignity' In Montreal
According to the Institut de recherche et d’informations socioéconomiques (IRIS).
To the surprise of no one, the income a single Montrealer needs to live comfortably rose by 9% between 2022 and 2023. That's according to the Institut de recherche et d’informations socioéconomiques (IRIS), which published the 2023 edition of its sustainable income report on May 3.
The report identifies the minimum-income residents of seven Quebec cities — Gatineau, Montreal, Quebec City, Saguenay, Sept-Îles, Sherbrooke and Trois-Rivières — need to live not just above the poverty line but "with dignity."
It includes evaluations of annual rent, food, electricity, transportation, phone, internet, dental and eye care costs, but also weighs the costs of a monthly restaurant outing or activity, furniture, books and newspapers, modest vacations, and personal care items, plus emergency funds and a little extra "room for manoeuvre."
The IRIS found that all those factors mean a Montrealer living alone would need $32,252 in income in 2023, the third-highest amount in the province after those in Sept-Îles ($37,822) and Gatineau ($32,358). The necessary income is $27,047 in Saguenay, $27,358 in Trois-Rivières, $28,767 in Sherbrooke and $31,104 in Quebec City.
The IRIS figures for a one-child single-parent household are $39,895 in Trois-Rivières, $41,027 in Sherbrooke, $43,029 in Quebec City, $44,187 in Montreal, $46,736 in Gatineau, $48,706 in Saguenay and $50,067 in Sept-Îles.
Finally, for a two-child, two-adult household, the 2023 sustainable income levels are $66,911 in Saguenay, $67,205 in Trois-Rivières, $68,163 in Sherbrooke, $69,781 in Quebec City, $71,161 in Montreal and $76,918 in Sept-Îles.
In its report, the IRIS takes aim at the Quebec government's planned 2023-2024 tax cuts, which the institute calls "an unequal measure that will deprive Quebec of valuable resources to redistribute income equitably" and urges for a reevaluation of the role of public policy in addressing inequality.
"The Quebec government should remember that vital dollars, i.e., dollars used for survival, are local dollars that contribute to the enrichment of local economies, which is not the case for dollars added at the top of the income scale," report authors write.
"Public finances should also be able to provide what makes us richer collectively, namely quality services and the protection of resources and public property. This implies a reconsideration, which is entirely possible, of our relationship to wealth and our way of living together."