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HomePolicy Articles Article Summary

Are Wage Supplements the Answer to the Problems of the Working Poor?

Research Report by Andrew Jackson

This paper explores the notion of wage supplementation in Canada as a solution to the high levels of failure to reach the poverty-income line (as defined by Statistics Canada). One plan Jackson highlights and has been supported by the major political parties in Canada is a “Working Income Tax Benefit.” This would provide a maximum of $1,000 for a single parent with one child who made less than $28,000 per year.

According to Jackson, this type of plan is insufficient; instead, a greater focus should be on promoting high levels of employment in developmental jobs that offer rising wages and employment standards. This approach, along with strong social and public services, is necessary to raise the welfare in society and reduce the need for income supplementation.

Jackson does acknowledge the need to use wage supplementations for people who are unable to hold employment at a sufficient level of hours and earnings. This includes people with disabilities and single parents of young children who may not be able to work full-time. Finally, the author gives some consideration to wage supplementation for those who are self-employed who work full-time, but have inadequate incomes. Thus, Jackson sees a use for wage supplementation, but cautions against making it the centrepiece of a new social architecture.

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Policy Publication Details

Author(s): Andrew Jackson;
Publisher: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives [ Visit Website ]
Year Published: 2006; Publisher Type: Research Institute
Publicly Available: Yes Research Focus: National; Provincial;
Registration Required: No Language: English
Payment Required: No Publication Format: Adobe PDF

Subjects / Categories:

Policy Articles / Welfare & Social Issues / Social Security
Policy Articles / Welfare & Social Issues / Subsidies
Policy Articles / Welfare & Social Issues / Social Security / 2004
Policy Articles / Welfare & Social Issues
Policy Articles / Welfare & Social Issues / Poverty
Policy Articles / Welfare & Social Issues / Inequality
Policy Articles / Welfare & Social Issues / Inequality / 2006
Policy Articles / Welfare & Social Issues / Subsidies / 2006
Policy Articles / Welfare & Social Issues / Poverty / 2006


Keywords / Tags:

social policy; minimum wage; unemployment insurance; poor; welfare; labour; wage supplements; income; job market; tax credit; tax benefit;