The direct cost of poverty for the NB government is an estimated $500 million per year--6.5% of the 2009/10 provincial budget. Health care spending alone amounts to $196 million per year, an amount that could be saved or reallocated if we lifted the poorest 20% of New Brunswickers out of poverty. For society overall, the cost of poverty is much higher — up to two billion dollars a year in New Brunswick. This corresponds to as much as $2,700 per person, per year. Thus, when the direct costs to government are added to broader costs of poverty, this total cost of poverty ($2 billion) is equivalent to 7% of New Brunswick’s GDP (gross domestic product or size of its economy).
Read the report here.