Tuesday, January 31, 2012

BC's income disparity worst in nation


Look past the political rhetoric, the paid advertisements and the work of reporters shilling for the B.C. Liberals. Look at information generated by the provincial government's own statistical agency. It tells a clear story, devoid of spin:
"Based on data from 2008, the average income of the top 10% of Canadians was ten times higher than the bottom 10%, which is a significant increase from the early 1990s, when the ratio was eight to one. The OECD report attributed the growth in inequality to a combination of factors, including increasing disparity in the wages for high and low-paid workers, an increase in the number of selfemployed (since they tend to earn less than employees), as well as a drop in the redistribution of income through taxes and benefits.

"Among the provinces, only Alberta registered more after-tax income inequality than BC in 2009. The only other province above the Canadian average was Ontario. Prince Edward Island had the smallest income gap among the provinces.

"British Columbia had the largest income gap among the provinces in 2009 when comparing the lowest 20% of earners to the highest 20%.The disparity in incomes is readily apparent when one compares the top 20% of income earners with the bottom 20%. In British Columbia, in 2009, the lowest 20% earned just 7.7% of what the top 20% earned before transfers and taxes. Compared to other provinces, BC ranked dead last in 2009, with the largest gap between the top 20% and the bottom 20% of income earners."
The full report.


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