Not numbers to be proud of (A clear example of the NDP failing the working poor)

The Canadian association of food banks released their annual report on food bank usage in Canada yesterday:

http://www.cafb-acba.ca/getmedia/34ebd534-14db-4bed-96d2-4fcadd5d9a33/HungerCount-2011-web-print-friendly.pdf.aspx?ext=.pdf

On top of that, David Northcott of Winnipeg Harvest was on CJOB yesterday morning. I caught just a little bit of his interview, but the numbers are certainly nothing to be proud of. The report linked above provides easy to read statistics, but I’ll focus on Manitoba.

  • Manitoba has the highest % of children using food banks than anywhere else in the country.
  • Manitoba’s per capita % usage of food banks is second highest in the country only to Newfoundland and Labrador, and almost double the rate in the next highest province
  • The % increase from 2008-2011 is the third highest in country only following Alberta and the Territories
  • The Per Capita % increase in Manitoba from 2001-2011 is the highest in the country.

And yet we have had an NDP government during that entire time. An NDP government that positions itself as the champion of the working class

Now from the bits and pieces I caught from David Northcott’s interview, some interesting information, specifically the following points:

  • The % of people using food banks in Manitoba on Social Assistance is relatively the same as the rest of the country.
  • Northcott said ‘the growth has come from the working poor’
That’s right, the working poor. Now, look at the % of homeowners that use food banks. Manitoba has the highest % of homeowners west of the maritimes.
What do those to pieces of information make clear?
That the NDP and our premier Greg Selinger are failing the working poor. How so?
Well, how many minimum wage earners do you know that own their own home?

The working poor using the food banks? NOT MINIMUM WAGE EARNERS

The working poor. Those that earn marginally more than minimum wage. Those, that when the NDP says “look at us we’re helping by raising minimum wage”, see no benefit and see a decrease in purchasing power if business owners have to raise prices to compensate for minimum wage increases.

I don’t think it is a coincidence that Manitoba takes the most provincial income tax from low income earners in the country and also has the second highest rate of food bank usage in the country.

Raise minimum wage. But also reduce the tax burden on the working poor, and unlike refundable tax credits you’ll put more money in people’s pocket in each payday, and I’m sure you’ll see a decrease in food bank usage. But then again neither of those result in increased government revenue.

And neither result in reduced dependency on our provincial government.

Wanna get rid of food banks and make a difference? A real tangible difference? Increase the basic personal exemption to $20,000. Heck, increase the high end tax bracket by 1% to compensate if you have to.

Do that, and I’m sure you’ll see food bank usage drop.

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4 thoughts on “Not numbers to be proud of (A clear example of the NDP failing the working poor)

  1. “Heck, increase the high end tax bracket by 1% to compensate if you have to”

    Doing that would just encourage more highly educated and skilled Manitobans to leave this province leaving an ever increasing percentage of the population classified as the working poor. Oh wait it is already happening at an alarming rate.

  2. I’m not sure I agree. Remember that that those in the high end would also reap the benefit of increasing the personal tax exemption to $20,000.
    So, the decrease in provincial income tax is $1,227.53. If the highest income tax bracket was increased by 1%, how much would you have to earn before the increase at the high end outweighs the reduction at the low end? $189,753.00. If you are earning that much, is a 1% income tax increase going to be enough of a deal breaker to get you to pack up and leave? I doubt it.
    Although to be fair, I don’t know if there is enough taxable personal income over $189,753 in this province to offset increasing the exemption to $20,000.

  3. Some times when I have been working at Harvest which has been with work and on my own , i have often wondered is it just that we have raised a generetion of lazy people who think that society will look after me and pay my rent . While there are many who need and should get help there are many who drop out and do not bother to try .
    They are the most part native and look at life as , being taken care of this is instilled by their cheifs. Many have 2 chidren before 25 and no job nor desire for one , after all the rent is paid and the food is around and smokes are coming from the store . It would seem that the social safty net is what needs some tweaking too.

  4. Pingback: Feedback on Occupy Winnipeg, Downtown Biz and safety, poverty, Crocus; plus FLM nominations open | The Great Canadian Talk Show

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