This fourth and final report in our Poverty Trends Scorecard series shows that in the face of economic uncertainty and stagnant incomes, Canadians are working hard to keep up with rising living costs.
"Making Ends Meet" was released on December 11, 2013, a day after the House of Commons Finance Committee released their report on income inequality. The report is comprised of five two-page fact sheets, covering the impact of rising prices on low-income Canadians, high housing costs, homelessness in Canada, rising food costs, and access to education. "Making Ends Meet" makes the case that significant action is needed to address the high cost of essential goods and services and the root causes of poverty. A comprehensive anti-poverty action plan would include a suite of policies and programs that both strengthen income security programs and invest in critical supports and services for low-income people, such as affordable housing, programs that facilitate access to healthy and affordable food, and assistance for low-wage, precarious workers.
The report highlights:
- How since the 2008-09 recession, the average price of goods and services has risen 6.7 per cent while, at the same time, the average after-tax income for the poorest 20 per cent of households fell by 1.3 per cent.
- How many low-income families are turning to food banks, shelters, and credit cards to get by.
- How, in order to cope with low incomes and rising prices, the poorest 20 per cent of households spent less money on food (7.5 per cent), health and personal care (5.5 per cent), and clothing (including diapers) (7.9 per cent) in 2011.
Download the report and fact sheets
Full report: "Making Ends Meet" (21 pages)
- Introduction & Summary
- Fact Sheet #1: Rising costs of living are a perpetual struggle for low-income families
- Fact Sheet #2: High housing costs create tremendous financial stress
- Fact Sheet #3: Homelessness in Canada takes an enormous toll
- Fact Sheet #4: Rising food costs a key factor of food insecurity, especially in the North
- Fact Sheet #5: Access to education is at risk because of rising costs