Income Inequality in Canada An Ongoing Problem

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Income Inequality in Canada An Ongoing Problem

As Oxfam releases its global income inequality report on the eve of Davos World Economic Forum in Davos, its 2019 report illustrates that extreme income inequality is still a major problem in Canada despite the limited measures taken by the Trudeau government. 

Billionaires in Canada have increased their wealth by $20 billion over the last year, says a new Oxfam report on global inequality. 

In the same time, the 4.5 per cent of the country's wealth held by the poorest half of Canadians remained static.

The report titled Public Good or Private Wealth recommends increased spending on public services and higher taxes on rich individuals and large corporations to close the gap between the world’s top money makers and the majority.

“The scale of this is so obscene, it’s hard to wrap your head around it,” Lauren Ravon, Oxfam Canada’s director of policy and campaigns, told National Observer. “It’s just these staggering figures.” ...

Ravon said Oxfam publishes similar reports each year around the World Economic Forum to draw attention to how the constantly growing gap between the world’s richest and poorest makes fighting poverty all the more challenging. Oxfam International is a confederation of non-profit organizations that work in more than 90 countries to fight against poverty. ...

There are 46 billionaires in Canada, says Forbes. ...

More public services and higher taxes on the wealthy are @oxfamCanada solutions to inequality as Canada's 46 billionaires get richer, widening the gap from poor people. ...

“We know there are very simple things that can be done to curb this trend and to make sure people that are living in extreme poverty aren’t stuck there for generations and generations.”

The report calls on governments to “crack down on tax avoidance” and ensure that the wealthy are taxed appropriately, saying that in rich countries the average top personal income tax rate fell from 62 in 1970 to 38 in 2013. 

Also essential to reduce inequality is increased spending on public services such as health care, education and childcare, the report says. By especially focusing on childcare, Ravon said that communities will experience the “triple benefit” of bridging inequality between men and women, enabling more women to join the workforce and boost their economies.

“It really is the magic bullet,” she said.