Toronto annual cost of poverty more than $4.4B: Report
These numbers are based on estimates and combine Toronto’s costs of poverty in the justice system, the health system and tax revenues.
“With this report, Toronto leads the way in estimating the cost of poverty for a Canadian city,” the report said. “This estimate is largely comparable, with the exception of intergenerational costs, with estimates of the cost of poverty in Ontario at $32 to $38 billion and for Canada at $72 to $85 billion.”
The estimated poverty costs are the result of Toronto’s 2.6 per cent budget cut for all city departments.
$730 million is lost annually in health costs due to poverty and $436 million from crime, says the report.
“Everyone in a society is better off economically when no one lives in poverty. The effects of a poverty reduction strategy will occur over time, and returns on our investments may take time to come to fruition. That underlines the importance of starting now,” the report stated.
A study earlier this month revealed that among major cities in Canada, Toronto has highest percentage of children living in low-income families.
A 2016 Toronto Vital Signs Report released this year, also rendered a desolate picture of Toronto’s child poverty by labeling it a “hidden epidemic.”
According to the estimates of Canadian studies 20 to 25 percent of children who grow up in poverty are expected to remain poor.
Nearly 144,000 children in Toronto are living in poverty at present which means between 28,800 and 36,000 children will remain poor, the report said.
(Reported by Asha Bajaj)