Queen's University

Queen's professor paints bleak picture of impact of Budget 2012 on women's economic equality

2012-05-24

After analyzing the 2012 Federal budget in regard to the current status of women in Canada, Professor Kathleen Lahey has determined that women may well not be celebrating Women’s Equality Day until 2593, based on the average rate of change in women’s economic status in Canada since 1997.

“Taken together, changes culminating in Budget 2012 make it virtually impossible to achieve sex equality during the lives of any women now living,” says Professor Lahey (Law). “Every new turn of the fiscal wheel in the last five years has further slowed women’s progress toward economic quality.”

In her examination of the status of women in Canada today, it was determined:

• The women’s share of paid work hours per year is 45.5 per cent yet the women’s share of unpaid works hours per year is 64 per cent.
• The women’s share of annual national market incomes is 36.3 per cent.
• The women’s share of consumable incomes is 40 per cent.

Since 2008 and up to the end of this fiscal year, the Government of Canada will have spent $168 billion on major changes in the tax structure, infrastructure spending programs, and employment insurance programs -- all of which have given and will continue far into the future to give the bulk of benefits to men.

At the same time, changes announced or foreshadowed in Budget 2012 will significantly affect Canada’s OAS/GIS income security system, health spending, the national private retirement system, infrastructure spending, and public services and employment – most of which will impose the heaviest cuts on women in general and members of other vulnerable groups.
 

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