McDonald's Low Wages Cost Taxpayers $1.2 Billion Per Year: Study

By:  Jillian Berman

The fast food industry’s low wages are costing us all, new research finds.

Taxpayers are shelling out $1.2 billion a year to help pay workers at McDonald’s, according to an estimate from the National Employment Law Project published Tuesday. The organization used estimated figures from a study by University of California-Berkeley and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on how many fast food workers rely on public assistance programs like food stamps and Medicaid for its analysis.

Overall, low wages at the top 10 largest fast food chains cost taxpayers about $3.8 billion per year, NELP found.

As Republicans in Congress fight to curb spending on entitlement programs like food stamps, the report offers an often overlooked solution: Companies could pay workers more to decrease their reliance on public assistance.

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