April 29, 1998
Income security benefits flow to all Canadians, not just the poor
Ottawa – Canadians of all income levels are beneficiaries of Canada's income security programs, according to a new analysis by the Canadian Council on Social Development (CCSD).
"While people may assume that our income security programs only benefit the poor, in fact programs such as Employment Insurance and the Child Tax Benefit distribute money to a wide range of income earners, including those in the middle- and upper-earnings groups," says CCSD Research Director Clarence Lochhead.
"The income security system does reduce inequality among Canadian households, but it plays an equally important role in offering protection to Canadians at all levels of income. For example, nearly 40 per cent of income security benefits in 1995 went to households with pre-transfer incomes of less than $7,000. But one in five benefit dollars went to households with pre-transfer incomes of $40,000 or more."
Lochhead's and Christopher Clark's review of the distribution of income security benefits is published in a CCSD book being released today called Canada's Income Security Programs – a detailed description of today's programs. A summary of their findings on the distribution of the benefits is available in the most recent issue of Perception, the CCSD's journal.
Among the authors' findings:
Social assistance benefits are overwhelmingly received by Canada's lowest income households.
The majority of Employment Insurance benefits are received by people living in households with annual pre-transfer incomes above $30,000 (1995 figures).
Senior citizens rely very heavily on income security benefits, with four-fifths of older households living on annual incomes – excluding benefits – that are under $29,000 (1995 figures).
– 30 –
Canadian Council on Social Development,
309 Cooper Street, 5th Floor,
Ottawa, Ontario, K2P 0G5
Tel: (613) 236-8977, Fax: (613) 236-2750, Web: www.ccsd.ca, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org