Poverty at the Crossroads: Scarborough & Toronto Region. John Stapleton December 6, 2012

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1 Poverty at the Crossroads: Scarborough & Toronto Region John Stapleton December 6, 2012

2 Agenda 1. Brighter Prospects: The Social Assistance Review 2. Less on our Plates: Food and social assistance rates 3. The Working Poor in Toronto and Scarborough 4. Why Scarborough is getting poorer 5. What we can do about it.

3 Now What? BRIGHTER PROSPECTS: THE SOCIAL ASSISTANCE REVIEW Working Poverty in Scarborough & the Toronto Region 3

4 ONTARIO: ESTIMATED INCOME SECURITY SPENDING BY PROGRAM ($57.3 B) Provincial Child Benefits 2% GAINS-A <1% Workers Compensation 5% Tax Credits* 9% Social Assistance includes OW and ODSP. Social Assistance 11% OAS/GIS/Allowance 23% Veterans benefits 1% EI Benefits 10% CPP 27% GST Credit 3% UCCB 2% CCTB 7% * Provincial tax credits increased from $1 B in to $5 B. Tax credits were restructured. Includes a one-time Sales Tax Transition Benefit of $2.6 B.

5 ONTARIO: ESTIMATED INCOME SECURITY SPENDING BY LEVEL OF GOVERNMENT ($52.5 B revised) Municipal 1% Provincial 20% Federal 79% August 2012 ODSP revised. Total revised.

6 ONTARIO Unemployment Rates and Percentage of Population on SA June 2007 to September P E R C E N T A G E Unemployment Rate % of Population on SA

7 ONTARIO: SINGLE EMPLOYABLE PERSON Annual Income from SA versus Full-Time Employment at Minimum Wage 1967 to ,000 20,000 D O L L A R S 15,000 10,000 5, Annual SA Gross Annual Income at Minimum Wage (37.5 hour week)

8 ONTARIO Annual SA Income as Percentage of Annual Income from Minimum Wage Employment Single Employable Person 1967 to % 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% SA as % of Minimum Wage (37.5 hour week)

9 Quick Review It is a complex paper that will take time to digest It will take time for the various communities of interest to digest the paper in its entirety. It does not stand on its own as a transformational beacon although there are many sections that shine very bright lights.

10 There are some recommendations that communities of interest can get behind higher asset exemptions (R 61-65) higher earnings exemptions (R33) rate increases for singles and couples on OW (R32) exemptions for child support (R 58-59) endorsement of a housing benefit ( R 54) Maintaining the current definition of disability

11 Recommendations that communities of interest can get behind ending the surveillance culture (68-85) large focus on employment and improving employment prospects (R 1-25) a disability benefit outside of social assistance (R 39) uniform dental to all (R 48) Involvement of recipients and people with lived experience of poverty ( numerous places throughout) Creating a block fund for health related benefits

12 Recommendations that (taken as a whole) the advocacy and social policy communities will question tying rates and breakevens to a reference wage (in the interim to the minimum wage a wage that has not increased in 30 months with no formal mechanism to raise either SA rates or the minimum wage (R 32) introducing rate reductions for new recipients who reside together not taking into account nature of relationship between sharers( R34) not commenting on the Budget 2012 reductions

13 Recommendations that (taken as a whole) the advocacy and social policy communities will question recommending loss of the SDA (R 50) abolishing the work related benefit(r 51) introducing a uniform sole support parent supplement (R 44) collapsing two of 30 special benefits into the general rate structure even if no $$ loss overall (R 53) Block fund non health and employment benefits at the municipal level, not through EO

14 Recommendations that are sector specific that will be a matter of sector debates Creation of one overall program Delivery at the municipal level Creation of a Commissioner (i.e. status in government) Compliance ( role of auditor general) Employment service sector (who does what and who does it best?) Consolidating special benefits (esp. given the Budget 2012 cuts) Creating a regional rate structure

15 Less on our plates FOOD, COMMODITIES AND SOCIAL ASSISTANCE RATES Poverty at the crossroads 15

16 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 3 rd World Poverty at the crossroads 16

17 Poverty at the crossroads 17

18 150 PERCENTAGE CHANGE IN OW SINGLE RATE AND COST OF WELFARE DIET COMPARED TO INFLATION, ONTARIO 1995 TO Percentage OW Single Person 100 = $520 Inflation Increase in Cost of Welfare Diet Poverty at the crossroads 18

19 Poverty at the crossroads 19

20 Grain dairy and meat responsible for high food inflation 175 Food inflation versus social assistance in Ontario, by food groups (2000 = 100) Grain Dairy Meat Food inflation Fruits & Veg Fish 100 CPI Social assistance Jan 2010 Feb 2010 Mar 2010 Apr 2010 May Note: Social assistance rates are based on the total monthly allowance for a single person on Ontario Works. Source: Institute for Competitiveness & Prosperity analysis based on data from Statistics Canada, and John Stapleton, Open Policy Ontario. Poverty at the crossroads 20

21 Food Consumption patterns and income The Poor eat calories The middle class eats nutrition The rich eat presentation Poverty at the crossroads 21

22 The Welfare Diet: Then and Now Rates do not keep up: Welfare single rate (December) $606 a month; if indexed would be $943 down $337; ODSP now $1,075 if indexed would be: $1,323 - down $248 Poverty at the crossroads 22

23 Working Poverty TORONTO AND SCARBOROUGH Working Poverty in Scarborough & the Toronto Region 23

24 Working Poverty in Scarborough & the Toronto Region 24

25 Working Poverty in Scarborough & the Toronto Region 25

26 Working Poverty in Scarborough & the Toronto Region 26

27 Working Poverty in Scarborough & the Toronto Region 27

28 Working Poverty in Scarborough & the Toronto Region 28

29 Working Poverty in Scarborough & the Toronto Region 29

30 The Eastification of Poverty in : Toronto 11 census tracts increased working poverty east of Yonge vs. 4 west of Yonge 68 reduced working poverty (W) vs. 46 (E) Working Poverty in Scarborough & the Toronto Region 30

31 Working Poverty WHY SCARBOROUGH IS GETTING POORER Working Poverty in Scarborough & the Toronto Region 31

32 Reasons 1. Transportation: no 4XX N/S corridor Political/Public Conversation is all E/W Airport is in West Toronto 2. Higher Education: within 125 km: 7 west of Yonge, 2 east (The Guelph Santa effect) 3. Trade: Proximity to US and cross Toronto gridlock post freed trade. 4. Jobs: Ascendant Knowledge worker west/declining manufacturing east 5. Traditional Eastification issues Working Poverty in Scarborough & the Toronto Region 32

33 Working Poverty in Scarborough & the Toronto Region 33

34 THE LABOUR MARKET DIFFERENT WORK CATEGORIES Change in Share of Employment, Canada (Richard Florida) 34 Poverty at the crossroads 34

35 Employment trends by broad sector and skill categories, Toronto Census Metropolitan Area, s employed 1200 Knowledge Worker 1000 Service Entry Middle Service Working Entry Middle Working CDN $ STARTS RISING RECESSION 35 Poverty at the crossroads 35

36 Working Poverty WHAT CAN WE DO? Working Poverty in Scarborough & the Toronto Region 36

37 Answers 1. Re-imagine a Green Birchmount Corridor. A new airport hub east of Toronto(?) 2. Call for fair share of higher education east of Yonge 3. Imagine new North-south trade routes to US and abroad 4. Solve cross-toronto transportation nightmare 5. Develop Rouge Valley High tech high value enterprise zone 6. Develop grow east urban planning strategy. Working Poverty in Scarborough & the Toronto Region 37

38 End QUESTIONS? Working Poverty in Scarborough & the Toronto Region 38

39 Working Poverty in Scarborough & the Toronto Region 39

40 The nominal WITB design Working Poverty in Scarborough & the Toronto Region 40

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