It’s good news and bad news for Canada as the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development releases today a powerful new report that confirms that the gap between rich and poor is growing throughout the richest countries of the world. The full OECD report called Growing Unequal and they have helpfully provided a two-page tip sheet that focuses on Canada.
Here’s a quick snapshot:
First, the good news: “The rich in Canada are particularly rich compared to their counterparts in other countries,” according to the OECD. So, our very wealthy are doing much better than the very wealthy in other countries. So that’s all right, then.
Then, there’s plenty of bad news:
– overall, poverty has increased for all age groups in Canada over the past decade, according to the OECD.
– the gap between rich and poor has been growing very fast in Canada, and we’re second only to Germany among the other countries in the OECD (which is the league of rich nations of the world).
– one reason for the rapid growth in income inequality is that Canada spends less on income assistance such an unemployment and family than most OECD countries.
– the low level of transfers means that “work is even more important as a way of avoiding poverty in Canada than it is in other countries”, according to the OECD. Lots of Canadians are working, but the quality (and pay) for those jobs are not lifting people out of poverty.
– “If Canadians do fall into poverty, however, they are likely to remain poor for longer than in most countries,” says the OECD.