In recent years, progressives and social democrats have begun to embrace a much bolder tax fairness agenda than was the case even five years ago. This is especially true in the United States where Democratic Presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have both made the case for a significant tax on large holdings of wealth, the closure of personal tax loopholes for investment income such as stock options, and serious corporate tax reform. In the 2019 federal election, the NDP similarly called for a wealth tax, higher taxation of capital gains in the personal income tax system, and a higher corporate tax rate.
Our world is full of highly divisive politics. In western Europe, the UK has been consumed by the Brexit debate for more than three years. Further east, in Poland and Hungary, authoritarian leaders are threatening their political opponents. There is turmoil and unrest in Central and South America. In the US, President Trump may well be impeached before the end of this year. In Canada, we have our own “Mini” Brexiteers led by Jason Kenney, who thinks nothing of consorting with extremists and playing footsie with separatists, all in a transparent ploy to distract from his regressive budget cuts.
Decent, safe, and affordable housing is an absolute foundation for healthy lives. Research has shown the critical links between housing and health. Without appropriate and secure housing, our health suffers, our mental health deteriorates, we are more stressed. Without affordable housing we may need to skip on food or medications in order to pay the rent. Every single person requires affordable housing in order to be healthy, and yet so many struggle to find decent housing in Canada, one of the richest countries in the world.
Brittany Andrew-Amofah is the Broadbent Institute's Senior Policy and Research Analyst and Rebecca Cheff is a Researcher at the Welleslesy Institute.
What would you do if you had to make the decision between paying for prescription medications and paying the rent? Sadly, too many Canadians are faced with this impossible dilemma every day. In our first blog in this series, we wrote about the ‘affordability anxiety’ that Canadians face as they make everyday choices that impact their health and well-being. In this blog, we look at how the cost of medication feeds into affordability.
On average, Canadian families spend $450 per year out-of-pocket on prescribed medications. We know medication costs can be unaffordable, sometimes unexpected, and can eat away at family budgets for other important expenses, like groceries, housing costs, or emergency savings.