Yesterday, Statistics Canada released its 2012 wealth survey (Survey of Financial Security). Two previous wealth surveys were published in 2005 and 1999 with a similar methodology.
We often talk about income inequality, which examines what middle class and rich Canadians make in a year. However, wealth inequality examines middle class and rich Canadians’ net worth, including their house, RRSPs, savings, car, etc. If income inequality—where the top 20% of families get 43% of the income— is concerning, then wealth inequality should be downright shocking. The top 20% of families in Canada own 67% of all net wealth (although this is down slightly from the high of 69% of all wealth in 2005). ...Read more
Tags: Middle Class·Poverty and Income Inequality·wealth
This piece was first published in the Globe and Mail’s Economy Lab.
You could hear the sound of jaws dropping across the nation this week when Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, in response to a question from a journalist, cast doubt on the idea of income-splitting for young families, something his party has been promising since March 28, 2011.
The idea – which would allow the higher-earning spouse to transfer income to their lower-earning spouse in order to reduce their total tax hit – provoked controversy right from the start. But it became an increasingly hard sell as economists and think tanks from across the political spectrum lined up in agreement: Income-splitting costs too much for something that is worse than doing nothing. ...Read more
Tags: Income Splitting·Poverty and Income Inequality·Taxes and Tax Cuts
The following remarks are excerpted from the 2014 Alternative Federal Budget press conference, featuring Armine Yalnizyan, David Macdonald and Bruce Campbell (February 5th, Parliament Hill).
This year is our 19th Alternative Federal Budget (AFB).
From the beginning, we’ve developed a rigorous economic and fiscal framework for our Budget; and we have acquired an enviable reputation for more accurately forecasting fiscal balances than the Department of Finance. Organizers of a recent international conference in Berlin recently called our alternative budget the leading example of its kind in the world. Former parliamentary budget officer Kevin Page has praised it, as have many academic economists. ...Read more
Tags: Alternative Federal Budget·Economy & Economic Indicators·Federal Budget·Income Inequality·Poverty and Income Inequality·Taxes and Tax Cuts
This piece was first published in the Globe and Mail’s Economy Lab.
There is a good reason why the minimum wage has fired up so much debate lately. It has to do with how a “trickle-away” recovery has dogged so many advanced economies since the 2008 global crisis hit.
For most people today, growth is happening somewhere else, for someone else. The result is a crescendo of frustration. ...Read more
Tags: minimum wage·Ontario·Poverty and Income Inequality
Co-authored by Kayle Hatt and Trish Hennessy
Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak has a new jobs plan to create a million new jobs over the next eight years.
ONE MILLION (cue Austin Powers reference).
There are a few known details of his so-called plan – like cutting corporate taxes and ending green energy – but little clarity on how this will actually create jobs.
Even without the full details, there are other reasons to doubt his promise.
For starters: there aren’t a million unemployed people in Ontario. ...Read more
Tags: Employment and Labour·Jobs·Ontario·Poverty and Income Inequality·Tim Hudak
Last week, the CCPA revealed that the top 100 CEOs in Canada earn, on average, $7.96 million a year – or 171 times more than the average Canadian worker. That’s also 373 times more than an Ontarian earning the minimum wage.
To put that in perspective, the Top 100 CEOs earn in one hour[i] what a minimum wage worker will earn in 6.5 weeks. But there is one big caveat to this analysis – that minimum wage worker must be lucky enough to have a job that consistently offers 40 hours per week, offers paid sick days and provides vacation pay. ...Read more
Tags: CEOs·Employment and Labour·minimum wage·Ontario·Poverty and Income Inequality
Imagine finding $7.96 million in your stocking on Christmas morning. For Canada’s top 100 CEOs, that happy day has arrived. These 100 Canadians earn more than 99.9% of the working population of Canada. But if you are woman, odds are you are not on that lovely list. Not now, not ever.
It would take the average working age woman in Canada 235 years (or 85,778 days) to make as much as one of these CEOs makes in a single year. It would take a first-generation immigrant woman 268 years to do it.  Visible minority women and Aboriginal women would have to work the longest, at 273 years and 285 years respectively. ...Read more
Tags: CEOs·Employment and Labour·Gender Equality·Poverty and Income Inequality
Ontario’s minimum wage has been frozen since 2010. It’s the second longest period minimum wage workers have gone without a raise since 1969.
Oftentimes discussions about how much and how often to raise the minimum wage get positioned in relation to potential harm to business: how much can businesses bear to pay for an hour of labour before they are negatively impacted? ...Read more
Tags: Employment and Labour·minimum wage·Ontario·Poverty and Income Inequality
It appears that a Canada-wide deal on CPP expansion is a bust, as Ottawa was the only objector and Ontario is now vowing to go it alone. It doesn’t appear that the Ontario government has a concrete proposal as of yet, but they will develop one in the coming months. It is truly unfortunate that a countrywide deal was not possible at this point. What does this mean for Canadians? It means that if they move around the country throughout their career they will receive varying amounts of post-retirement support, given the different provincial pension schemes. This will certainly make it much more difficult to plan for retirement. However, given Ottawa’s recalcitrance, expansions by the provinces is better than nothing for middle class Canadians. ...Read more
Tags: CPP·Economy & Economic Indicators·Pensions·Poverty and Income Inequality
C’est clair, je n’utilise probablement pas les services postaux aussi souvent que je le pourrais. Cependant, je suis toujours contente de savoir qu’ils me sont accessibles si j’en ai besoin, peu importe où je me trouve et dans quelle situation financière personnelle je suis. J’apprécie aussi le fait qu’ils permettent à des femmes et des hommes d’avoir de bons emplois stables et des avantages sociaux, partout au pays.
La récente annonce de coupure de services faite par Poste Canada aura un impact important sur nos vies (pour certaines personnes plus que d’autres, pensons aux personnes âgées ou à mobilité réduite!). Cette annonce soulève des questions sur notre volonté collective d’avoir accès à des services universels et sur la lente érosion de nos institutions démocratiques qu’annonce ce changement majeur. ...Read more
Tags: Canada Post·Democracy·employment & labour·Poverty and Income Inequality