Labour Federation says the distribution of wealth is alarming

By Joan Wark
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Halifax – According to Statistics Canada, there was $10.3 trillion in wealth in Canada in 2016 and more than two-thirds of it is owned by the top 20%, almost unchanged from 2012. Nova Scotia Federation of Labour President Danny Cavanagh says this is not acceptable and we must demand that governments at all levels take action to ensure income equality is a priority.

The top 1% of tax filers held 11.2% of Canada’s total income in 2015, up from 10.3% in 2014.

Cavanagh says these recently released figures show that the capitalist system is only helping the rich and our politicians sit by and watch the inequality grow as the wealthy households comfortably outpace the small gains made by the majority of lower-income households.

The rich are getting richer, and income inequality is steadily growing. In Nova Scotia, child poverty and poverty in general, is climbing at alarming rates and it seems that our elected representatives are doing nothing to stop it.

“Nova Scotia’s wealthiest 20% own 64% of Nova Scotia’s total net worth, according to newly released wealth data by Statistics Canada. The poorest 20% of Nova Scotians can’t claim any share of the collective wealth and as a group, they owe, because their debts exceed their assets. The poorest 40% of Nova Scotians can lay claim on only 3% of all wealth in Nova Scotia.

“Sadly, this has been going on for too long, as reports in the past have signalled that the gap of inequality is growing and it’s no longer acceptable that the top 20% of Canadians own over 67% of the wealth.

“It’s time for our elected leaders to close tax loopholes, to ensure workers have a living wage and that women get the pay equity they were promised. It’s time to end homelessness and to end poverty in our country. We must demand more of our elected officials and ensure they get income equality under control,” says Cavanagh in conclusion.

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