News and Blogs

Affordability anxiety still high on the eve of a federal election

TORONTO – The cost of living, healthcare and housing affordability are top 3 drivers of voting amongst Canadians, with 8 in 10 Canadians worried about their cost of living rising.

A poll conducted by Abacus Research on behalf of the Broadbent Institute and Professional Institute for the Public Service of Canada found that 1 in 3 Canadians say the pandemic has made it harder to cover day-to-day expenses, while 71% of Canadians believe the difference between their income and that of the top 1% has widened over the last two years.

When asked what would make life more affordable, coverage for things like dental care, homecare and prescriptions, stable jobs with decent wages, taxing wealthier Canadians and large corporations to pay for public services were viewed as helping most.

“Canadians continue to be worried about affording a decent life while watching a few people and corporations at the top continue to gain more wealth, ” said Katrina Miller, Program Director of the Broadbent Institute, “they are clear in their minds that better public services, expanding healthcare, and raising taxes on the wealthy will help life be more affordable for everyone..” 

Other key findings

  • 64% of Canadians say that the cost of things they use and consume day-to-day has risen in the past two years. This number rises to 81% among Canadians 60 years of age and older.
  • 73% of Canadians say the pandemic has made it harder to save for retirement
  • When asked what would help make life more affordable:
    • 93% of Canadians said covering more under public health care like dental care, prescriptions, and home care would help, with 41% saying it would help a lot
    • 95% of Canadians said ensuring everyone has a stable job with a decent wage would help, with 41% saying it would help a lot
    • 93% of Canadians said taxing wealthier Canadians and large corporations more to pay for better public services would help, with 39% saying it would help a lot

“Coming out of the pandemic, affordability issues remain the most important issue for Canadians - especially those under 40. Housing, childcare, and the cost of goods and services are rising faster than people’s incomes. This is creating a sharp demand for solutions from political leaders who soon will be asking for people’s votes,” says David Coletto, CEO of Abacus Data. “Like in 2019, reducing costs and increasing incomes for people will likely be one of the top issues of the election campaign.”

REPORT: David Coletto, Abacus Data. Affordability anxiety continues as most Canadians say they worry about the cost of living.

RESEARCH: Abacus Data for the Broadbent Institute and the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada. Affordability Persists Post-Pandemic.



Download Broadbent Institute - Affordability Anxiety 2.0 - August 2021