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Poverty Affects Us All

Fact: Poverty has a price tag for all Ontarians

Poverty costs your household $2,300 to $2,900 a year.1

  • The Federal and Ontario governments are losing at least $10.4 billion to $13.1 billion a year due to poverty (10.8 to 16.6 per cent of the provincial budget).

  • If child poverty were eliminated, the extra income tax revenues nationally would be between $3.1 billion and $3.8 billion, while for Ontario, the additional (federal and provincial) taxes would amount to $1.3 billion to $1.6 billion.

Reducing poverty with targeted policies and investments generates an economic return EQUAL to part of the current assessed cost of poverty.

new study from British Columbia has done the math and has concluded that it cost more to keep people in poverty than to invest money to reduce poverty. ²

Fact: More Canadians can't make ends meet

  • There have been very small increases in median incomes and increases in shelter and inflation of over 18 per cent and 11 per cent, and a 42 per cent increase in new clients at Credit Canada in 2009.3

  • In Ontario, 60 per cent of workers are living pay cheque to pay cheque, compared to 57 per cent of Canadians. Among Canadian workers between 18 to 34 years of age, 63 per cent live pay cheque to pay cheque; this figure rises to 74 per cent for single parents. The study notes that these individuals would be in financial trouble if their pay came even one week late.4

"We have another equally compelling rationale for reducing poverty. It's the smart thing to do for our economy. An educated, healthy and employable workforce is critical to the economic future of this province..." 5

- Government of Ontario


Sources:

1.   Ontario Association of Food Banks. The Cost of Poverty. An Analysis of the Economic Cost of Poverty in Ontario, November 2008

2. Iglika Ivanova. The Cost of Poverty in BC, July 2011    

3.  Canadian Index of Well-being: How are Canadians Doing, 2009, pg. 5

4. Canadian Payroll Association. Third Annual Survey of Employees, September 2011.

5. Breaking the Cycle: Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Strategy, Online Comment