Friday, 8 April 2011

Low Income Cut-offs - A Lesson for the #CPC

Yesterday my post talked about how sad I thought it was that Conservatives did not acknowledge poverty in Canada.  And this morning to my surprise there was a comment arguing that .... the poverty line isn't real. I am sorry that I didn't define clearly enough what I meant by poor.  Here is the definition of poor I was using although I hesitate to even post it because that means I am just being sucked into this ridiculous debate on semantics.

The Low Income Cut-Offs are based on the percentage of a family's income spent on three items:
  • food,
  • clothing, and
  • shelter.
The percentage of total income (before income tax, and including government income supports) spent on food, clothing and shelter by an average Canadian household in 1992 was 34.7%. Using LICOs, a family is considered to be in low income if the household spends 20 percentage points higher than the average household or more than 54.7% of its total income on these three categories of expenditure. 
Regardless of whether or not you would like to acknowledge this definition of poverty to be valid, my comments about the Conservative election platform still hold true.  This platform does nothing for low income Canadians.

If you are spending more than half of your BEFORE tax income on the essentials:

  • it is unlikely you will have 10K to put in a savings account each year
  • you probably not paying to put your kids in organized sports
  • it is doubtful you have enough money to join a fitness club

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