Now You See It, Now You Don’t

How federal and provincial benefits get wiped out with wage increases
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Imagine a low-income family working hard day after day to make ends meet. Both the parents in the family have full-time, full-year jobs, although they are the low-wage jobs that are all too common in Canada.

Both parents get raises that boost their gross family earnings by $6,370 a year. And the final result of their efforts to succeed? A loss of $213 in disposable income.

This perversion of public policy is sometimes known as “stacking.” Increases in wages are eroded or erased by a combination of increases in taxes and other payroll deductions, along with reductions in benefits from government programs that were set up mainly to help low-income people in the first place.

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