Poverty costs Ontario somewhere between $27.1 – $33 billion each year. Feed Ontario’s most recent report, The Cost of Poverty in Ontario, offers an explanation as to why and how “poverty reduction is not only possible – it pays off.”
While governments estimate the cost of poverty by calculating dollars spent on programs and services for the poor, this report locates the cost of poverty in the increased health and justice system expenses incurred, and loss of tax revenue and by maintaining people in a state of poverty. Those living on low income experience poorer health for a host of reasons, including inadequate housing, less access to medicine, and less access to quality food. The result? An estimated cost of $3.9 billion to our health care system.