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Canadian income gap widens dramatically over last ten years, says OECD study

Canada's spending lower, poverty higher than in other developed countries.

Canadian income gap widens dramatically over last ten years, says OECD studyby Laurie Monsebraaten

October 21, 2008 — Poverty and inequality rates in Canada have been on the rise since 1995 and are now higher than the average developed nation, according to a new study.

The income gap is growing throughout the developed world, but the gap between rich and poor in Canada widened more dramatically than in most countries between 1995 and 2005, according to the report released in Paris today.

The 20-year analysis by the 30-member Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development found only Germany saw a similar rate of increase during the past 10 years.

"After 20 years of continuous decline, both inequality and poverty rates (in Canada) have increased rapidly in the past 10 years, now reaching levels above the OECD average," says the report.

As in other countries, more single-parent households and people living alone are contributing to income inequality in Canada.

And wages for the rich are increasing, while they have been stagnating or dropping for middle and lower income workers, the report says.

Most affected have been young adults and families with children.

Canada spends less on cash transfers, such as unemployment and family benefits, than other OECD countries and that may be one of the reasons the country fares worse than others, the report suggests.

The report echoes concerns raised by Canadian social research groups about growing income disparity in Canada at a time of strong economic growth.

"It's a consistent repudiation of the trickle-down theory," said Armine Yalnizyan, an economist with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, which has written several reports on the issue. . .

To read more. . .

Privatization vs. Public Values Frame
  Wealth will trickle down, eventually / Wealth redistribution creates liveable communities

Links and sources
  Canadian income gap growing wider, by Laurie Monsebraaten, The Hamilton Spectator, October 21, 2008

Posted: October 22, 2008

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