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Poverty at the Crossroads. John Stapleton January 18, 2011 London, Ontario . Contents. Living in the age of Alpha Paradigm “ smackdown ” The Changing nature of work The Big Picture: social assistance in the context of Income Security in Canada & Ontario

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poverty at the crossroads

Poverty at the Crossroads

John Stapleton

January 18, 2011

London, Ontario

contents
Contents
  • Living in the age of Alpha Paradigm “smackdown”
  • The Changing nature of work
  • The Big Picture: social assistance in the context of Income Security in Canada & Ontario
  • Social assistance – the ‘great megatrend’
  • The last three big recessions
  • Profound change in who receives welfare
  • Social assistance and Minimum wages
  • The Welfare Diet, food inflation and food deserts
  • Some tentative conclusions

Poverty at the crossroads

gdp in canada is 1 3 trillion
GDP in Canada is $1.3 Trillion
  • Government share: about 37%
  • Non-Profit Sector: about 2-3%
  • Private Sector: 60%
  • Highest government shares include France and Iraq (60+%)
  • Lowest include Haiti and Singapore (10% or lower)

Poverty at the crossroads

slide7

THE LABOUR MARKET – DIFFERENT WORK CATEGORIES

Change in Share of Employment, Canada

(Richard Florida)

Poverty at the crossroads

7

slide8

Employment trends by broad sector and skill categories,

Toronto Census Metropolitan Area, 1997-2009

‘000s employed

CDN $

STARTS RISING

RECESSION

Poverty at the crossroads

8

the big picture
The Big Picture
  • Show me the money!
    • By Program
    • By Target Group
    • Federal
    • Provincial

Poverty at the crossroads

social assistance the megatrends
Social Assistance: the Megatrends

Poverty at the crossroads

the three last big recessions
The three last big recessions
  • The post recession shift:
  • Recession of 1980-82 – welfare peaks in March 1983
  • Recession of 1990-91 – welfare peaks in March 1994
  • Great Recession of 2008-09 – welfare peaks in March 2011 or........

Poverty at the crossroads

the three last big recessions1
The three last big recessions

Poverty at the crossroads

a closer look
A closer look

Poverty at the crossroads

canada at the bottom in support for single non aged persons oecd
Canada ‘at the bottom’ in support for single (non-aged) persons - OECD

Poverty at the crossroads

profound caseload change
Profound Caseload Change
  • In 1988 in Ontario, persons with disabilities comprised 32% of social assistance
  • In 2010, persons with disabilities comprise 60+ % of social assistance and growing
  • Lone parents in 1995 -2000 equalled singles
    • Since 2000:
      • singles have increased by 57%
      • Lone parent decreased by 21%

Poverty at the crossroads

minimum wages and social assistance
Minimum Wages and Social Assistance
  • In Ontario:
    • Minimum wages set at $12.50 a week in 1937
    • Relief set at maximum of $19. a month
    • 36% Ratio
    • Rose to 70% in 1990-91
    • Relentlessly fell for the next 20 years
    • Now back to 36%
    • Forced choice between $7,000 or $20,000

Poverty at the crossroads

the welfare diet then and now
The Welfare Diet: Then and Now
  • Authored by Hon. Dave Tsubouchi in 1995
  • Re-shopped at Supercentre in February 2010 and January 2011
    • Food inflation much higher than CPI
    • Bad food rising faster than good food

Poverty at the crossroads

gold last 12 months
Gold: last 12 months

Poverty at the crossroads

sugar last 6 months
Sugar: last 6 months

Poverty at the crossroads

corn last 6 months
Corn: last 6 months

Poverty at the crossroads

cotton last 6 months
Cotton: last 6 months

Poverty at the crossroads

soybeans last 12 months
Soybeans: last 12 months

Poverty at the crossroads

copper last 12 months
Copper: last 12 months

Poverty at the crossroads

coffee last 12 months
Coffee: Last 12 months

Poverty at the crossroads

cattle last 12 months
Cattle: last 12 months

Poverty at the crossroads

orange juice last 12 months
Orange Juice: last 12 months

Poverty at the crossroads

pork last 12 months
Pork: Last 12 months

Poverty at the crossroads

wheat last 6 months
Wheat: last 6 months

Poverty at the crossroads

what does commodity price inflation mean for food
What does commodity price inflation mean for food?
  • Food inflation has already outstripped general price inflation over the years
  • This trend likely to accelerate in future
  • High calorie foods accelerating the most – available to the poor
  • Low calorie food accelerating the least – less available to poor –”Food deserts”
  • New concern about affordability of food in 3rd World

Poverty at the crossroads

food consumption patterns and income
Food Consumption patterns and income
  • The Poor eat calories
  • The middle class eats nutrition
  • The rich eat presentation

Poverty at the crossroads

the welfare diet then and now1
The Welfare Diet: Then and Now
  • Rates do not keep up:
  • Welfare single rate now $592 a month;
  • if indexed would be close to $904
  • down $312;
  • ODSP down $233
  • Special Diet of up to $250 re-application in 2011

Poverty at the crossroads

tentative conclusions
Tentative Conclusions
  • Mythology of social assistance – the most ‘containable cost’
  • Indexation federal rule, provincial exception
  • Social assistance is small expenditure and will get smaller
  • Rates in serial decline – will continue
  • Caseloads heading towards the single person with disability rising

Poverty at the crossroads

tentative conclusions1
Tentative Conclusions
  • Minimum wages and welfare out of whack in early 1990’s
  • Now out of kilter in the opposite direction
  • Food a growing issue
  • Bad food the main threat
  • Phil Gramm(?) clarion call for more rate cuts

Poverty at the crossroads

tentative conclusions2
Tentative Conclusions
  • The Good News?
    • Lone parents at historic lows – child benefits, child support, possibly can leave welfare behind
    • Everyone in the big tent labour force ?
  • More bad news?
    • Singles the story of the recession of 2008-10
    • Senior disability programs leaving social assistance as last payer

Poverty at the crossroads