A breakdown of anti-poverty measures in budget 2018

Posted
April 4, 2018
Article Source
Canada Without Poverty

Last month, the federal government released Budget 2018. The Dignity for All (DFA) campaign was encouraged to see two positive anti-poverty measures linked to income security included in Budget 2018: indexing the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) and strengthening the Working Income Tax Benefit (WITB), now called the Canada Workers Benefit (CWB). We also applaud the robust funding dedicated to programs supporting Indigenous, First Nations, and Métis communities.

At the same time, the DfA campaign was also profoundly disappointed that this budget did not include any dedicated funding for the Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy (CPRS), despite indications that it will be released this year. Without funding a comprehensive anti-poverty strategy with effective, evidence-based policies, millions of people living in poverty in Canada will continue to be left behind.

Here is a quick breakdown of how Budget 2018 relates to the six main policy areas of DfA's model national anti-poverty plan:

HEALTH

Budget 2018 announced the creation of an advisory council on the implementation of national pharmacare. Canada remains the only country with a universal healthcare system but without a pharmacare program – and the impact is notable: one in ten people in Canada cannot afford to fill their prescriptions. The announcement indicated that the federal government will be forming an advisory committee to explore options or a national pharmacare program, with the committee set to report back in 2019. Given how much research has already shown the positive economic impact of universal pharmacare access, we do not need another committee – we need action.

JOBS & EMPLOYMENT

No living wage policy was included in Budget 2018 We did make some headway in terms of pay equity, in the form of upcoming legislation to address the gender wage gap, but only for the federally-regulated sector. According to estimates contained within Budget 2018, this legislation has the potential to “reduce the gender wage gap by about 2.7 cents for the core public administration (to 94.1 cents on the dollar), and by about 2.6 cents in the federal private sector (to 90.7 cents on the dollar).” The government is also set to host a symposium related to the gender wage gap in the spring of 2019

Read more: A breakdown of anti-poverty measures in budget 2018