This commentary compares the Low-income Individuals and Families Tax (LIFT) credit to the cancelled minimum wage increase from $14 per hour to $15 per hour. The commentary estimates the change to the Province’s budget balance and reviews the impacts to individuals and families.
This report assesses trends since 2000 in the personal income of Ontarians across three broad areas: growth, distribution and mobility. It examines the growth in incomes for Ontario families, explores recent trends in market and after-tax income inequality, and discusses the evolution of relative income mobility and intergenerational income mobility in Ontario.
As part of the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, the government proposes to raise Ontario’s general minimum wage from its current rate of $11.40 per hour to $14 per hour on January 1, 2018 and $15 per hour the following year. While almost 1.6 million workers will benefit from the increase, a significant number of lower wage workers will lose their jobs and some businesses will struggle to cover higher payroll costs.
Home energy spending, how much Ontarians pay to heat and cool their homes and power their appliances, is a frequent topic of debate in Ontario’s Legislative Assembly. Average household spending on home energy varies significantly by region. Households in Toronto and Hamilton-Niagara spend the least, while households in Northern Ontario on average spend the most. Household home energy spending in Ontario rises with income, but is a greater burden for lower income households. In 2014 households in the bottom 20% of the income distribution spent on average 5.9% of income on home energy, while those in the top 20% spent only 1.7% of their much larger incomes. A variety of provincial programs exists to assist households with paying for home energy.