Inequality Is Not Inevitable
L'inégalité n'est pas inévitable
Sherri Torjman and Ken Battle,
This paper was written at the invitation of Canada 2020 as part of an anthology on five major challenges facing Canada. Contributing authors to The Canada We Want in 2020 project were asked to submit brief, focused papers on concrete and practicable steps that could be taken by the federal government to tackle one of the designated challenges – in this case, poverty and inequality.
The paper briefly explores the separate, but linked, problems of poverty and inequality in this country. It considers the many economic and social factors that contribute to high poverty and rising inequality. The negative consequences to both individuals and the broader society are discussed.
Poverty and inequality are complex problems that require a set of linked interventions related to affordable housing, early childhood development and child care, education and skills training, and decent employment opportunities that pay a living wage.
This paper focuses, however, upon the crucial redistributive role of the federal government through income security programs and a progressive income tax system. The Working Income Tax Benefit and Canada Child Tax Benefit are two levers that are currently in place. The authors argue for a substantial boost to these programs as a way to land a solid punch on poverty and inequality – now.
The link to The Canada We Want in 2020 book is available at http://canada2020.ca/canada-we-want/
View English document in PDF format.
View French document in PDF Format.
A copy of these publications are available in Microsoft Word format. Please contact the Caledon Institute for information.
HAVE YOU SEEN
-Private money, public programs? There will always be strings
-Ensuring the Welfare of 'Welfare Incomes'
-A Flimflam Budget
-The Skilled Budget
-Financing Long-Term Care: More Money in the Mix
-Guiding principles for social policy budgets
-Proceedings of Caledon’s 20th Anniversary
-As the fiscal chill thaws: social policy ideas for the medium term
-Is Canada (Still) a Fiscal Union?: Michael Mendelson
-Architecture of Federal Income Security in Canada: Ken Battle
-Social Policy Challenges for Canada: Sherri Torjman
-In Canada, the new solitudes are East vs. West
-Picture - Sherri Torjman
-Canada’s English-French divide giving way to East-West economic split, scholar says
-Video - Sherri Torjman: Five Good Ideas about Policy
-Video - Sherri Torjman: Canada@150 address
-Video - Sherri Torjman: Shared Space & Community Recreation
As the fiscal chill thaws: social policy ideas for the medium term
Ken Battle, Sherri Torjman and Michael Mendelson, January 30, 2013
Right now, Canada’s economic outlook remains uncertain. But as the economy begins to recover, as it eventually will, our fiscal situation will gradually improve.