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    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
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The Progressive Economics Forum

How to Lower Poverty Without Really Trying

Followers of statistical entrails have known for some time that the incidence of poverty (sorry, low income)  varies between surveys. The Census – which covers 20% of the population – captures significantly more low income persons  than does the annual Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics which is based on a much smaller sample which is followed for a period of time. The measure of low income is the same – the LICO (after tax.)

Here are the numbers for 2005. They suggest that the replacement of the long form Census with a National Household Survey will lead to a significant reduction in measured low income.

Low Income (After Tax) in 2005 (%)
Census SLID
All 11.4 10.8
Children 13.1 11.7
Seniors 6.7 6.1
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Comments

Comment from Arthur Smitherman
Time: February 11, 2011, 7:39 pm

I think knocking on the doors on the highrises of two of the poorest postal codes in Canada is better way to determine income, in my opinion and experience. Firstly, for

Comment from Arthur Smitherman
Time: February 11, 2011, 7:52 pm

I think that knocking on the doors of all the highrises in two of the poorest postal codes in Canada is a far better way to determine poverty in my opinion, and experience. Certianly “moving the goal posts” to measure poverty is a nasty trick; but to see it first had is another matter. Many able bodied and willing people are housebound because they can’t get day care, some leave their young children at home and work anyway. It would surprise many to know how many men are housebound and alone looking after young children, because their young immigrant wife didn’t like it here and moved back home to a “better life”. The fact is poverty costs us all, and training and eduction doesen’t. For every $1M we invest in training the poor and minorities we get $2.8M back and half of that goes right back into the local economy. Now, how are the unemployment statistics manipulated again?

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