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The Progressive Economics Forum

The Federal Role in Poverty Reduction

Over at the web site of the Calgary Homeless Foundation, I’m co-author of a blog post titled “The Federal Role in Poverty Reduction.”

Points raised in the blog post include the following:

-Canada’s Minister of Families, Children and Social Development has been tasked to lead the development of a Canada Poverty Reduction Strategy.

-Total public social spending in Canada (as a % of GDP) is well below the OECD average.

-Our current federal government has already taken several important initiatives pertaining to poverty reduction.

-Measures our current federal government could take to further reduce poverty in Canada include bringing in a national early learning and child care framework/strategy, expanding the Working Income Tax Benefit, implementing universal pharmacare and providing more funding for affordable housing.

-Macroeconomic policies that could assist with these endeavours include deficit financing, increasing personal income taxes for high-income earners, increasing corporate income taxes, and addressing inequities in our tax-expenditure system.

-Any poverty reduction strategy should be undertaken in partnership with First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.

The link to the full blog post is here.

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Comments

Comment from Larry Kazdan
Time: February 8, 2017, 10:51 pm

Anti-Poverty Week – best solution is job creation

http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=25699

“The federal government can always create enough work any time it chooses at a decent wage to ensure that no-one needs to live below the poverty line. Read: always! It can also always pay those who cannot work for whatever reason an adequate pension. Read: always. If we run out of real resources which prevent those nominal payments (wage and pensions) translating into an adequate standard of living, then the government can always redistribute the real resources by increasing taxes……

***

There is nothing complex about announcing that the government will pay a living wage to anyone who wants to work – just turn up tomorrow and the wage begins. If that announcement was made then we would know who wants to work for a wage and those who do not. For Anti-Poverty Week – the best thing the government can do is announce the unconditional job offer.

***

But our national government deliberately chooses not only to ensure their fiscal settings create worsening unemployment by suppressing aggregate demand but then, if that wasn’t bad enough, to then suppress the income support payments to worsen the poverty that unemployment brings.”

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