This report is about the high dollar cost we are currently paying for the consequences of poverty, and why investments to end poverty make better economic sense. There are different approaches to poverty. An approach based on short-term spending to help people in poverty get by can often carry indirect costs. It does not do a good job of reducing poverty itself.
Many Canadians are concerned that reducing poverty means more spending on people living in poverty, leaving others worse off. The growing body of research and experience tells a very different story. It shows that reducing poverty benefits everyone.
In an investment model, the more resources devoted to preventing poverty and directly lifting people out of poverty, the greater the pay-off would be for all Canadians in reduced health care and other indirect costs. The wellbeing of people at the lower end of the income ladder would improve, and with less time needed just for survival, their opportunities to contribute to society and the economy would expand. These kinds of benefits need to be counted and made visible to a much greater extent so that Canadians can see the positive return we can get for our investment.