When Andrea Duffield’s youngest child started Grade 1 last fall, the single mother of three got a part-time job in the hope of pulling her family out of poverty.
But the extra income caused her subsidized rent to double. And after taxes and work-related expenses, her Toronto family wasn’t any further ahead.
Despite Ontario’s growing economy and low unemployment rate, one in eight children (12.6 per cent) were living in poverty by 2005, a percentage that has been rising since 2001, says the Ontario Campaign 2000 in its annual report to be released today.
That figure applies to after-tax incomes. In before-tax incomes, previously used as the yardstick, child poverty in 2005 was at 17.3 per cent. In 2001, the child poverty rate in Ontario was 10.3 per cent after taxes and 15.1 per cent before taxes.
The advocacy group is demanding that Ontario’s upcoming anti-poverty strategy ensure that every adult working full time for a full year is able to live above the poverty line.
Some 70 per cent of the province’s poor children belong to families like Duffields, with at least one parent working, says Ontario Campaign 2000. More than 41 per cent have a parent working full time, full year, the group says.