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Paul Martin's economic record: Living standards of working families and prospects for future prosperity

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Alternative federal budget 2004 technical paper #2
Jackson, Andrew
Publication Date: 
10 Dec 2003

Available in print for order (see SOURCE) and online for download.

Excerpts from news release While Paul Martin points to a strong record of economic growth and rising employment during his tenure as Finance Minister, his overall economic record is flawed when viewed from the perspective of working families. Study released by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives "Paul Martin's economic record: Living standards of working families and prospects for future prosperity" by economist Andrew Jackson, notes that despite the impressive growth of real GDP per person between 1993 and 2003, working families mainly increased their incomes by working longer hours. These gains in labour income from higher employment were offset by lower income transfers to households from all levels of government. Additionally, corporate pre-tax profits have grown as a share of national income at the expense of wages and salaries. Income inequality and poverty have both increased when account is taken of the state of the business cycle and re-distributive economic transfers, economic security, and access to public and social services were all undermined by Mr. Martin's spending cuts-particularly cuts to EI and transfers to the provinces. "The clear bottom line is that income inequality increased significantly in the Martin years, mainly because the increasingly unequal distribution of market income was not offset to the same extent as in the recent past by government transfers to lower income families. And poverty rates remained disturbingly high," concludes Jackson.