Letter: Raising minimum wage would help low-income families

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 24, 2020

I’ve lived near Salisbury most of my life, and the longer I live here the more I notice how the poverty in this area is getting worse.

I feel the local and federal government should be doing more to address this issue. In researching this, I realize that Salisbury has a higher poverty rate than most of the cities in North Carolina. The average poverty rate in North Carolina is 13.6% and the average poverty rate in Salisbury is 21.4%. The minimum wage in Salisbury, North Carolina, is $7.25 per hour. This has a lot to do with local, national and state poverty issues.

This is based on a family of four with one working adult. The average low income after taxes in Salisbury is $1,680 per month. I would like to note that the average daycare in Salisbury is approximately $800 per month, which would change the monthly income to $2,500 per month. I strongly feel that children should be raised by their parents instead of a daycare, but sometimes both parents are forced to work. The average cost to rent a home in Salisbury is $866 per month, and the average cost to feed a family of four in Salisbury is $840 per month.

The average electric bill for a house this size is approximately $120 per month, and the average water bill for a house this size is approximately $70 per month. When adding all of these bills together, the cost of living for a family of four averages out to about $1,900 per month. Therefore, the average family living in poverty in Salisbury is approximately $300 in debt per month.

I feel that, if minimum wage was raised to $15 per hour, low-income families could live more comfortable lives.

— Raven Walsh