Why child poverty?

There’s no doubt in my mind that the vast majority of British Columbians would be willing to pay more taxes in order to eradicate it.

Re: reporter Lissa Alexander’s ongoing series entitled ‘Poverty in paradise’ (part three will be in The NEWS, March 13).

Why is child poverty allowed to exist in B.C.? There’s no doubt in my mind that the vast majority of British Columbians would be willing to pay more taxes in order to eradicate it. And if people can’t work, through no fault of their own, shouldn’t a civilized society at least provide them with enough so that they can live in dignity and not be continually stressed out trying to live on income that’s way below the real poverty level?

The  Nordic countries, which the right-wing politicians in this country consider socialist, have a higher standard of living than we do and much lower rates of child poverty. According to the latest Canada Conference Board report on child poverty (Jan. 2013), out of 17 industrialized countries, the Nordic countries have by far the lowest child poverty rates, averaging less than seven per cent. Canada in 15th place is over double that rate at over 15 per cent and the U.S., the country whose “creed of greed” financial system Prime Minister Stephen Harper admires so much, is dead last in 17th place.

If we had an electoral system of proportional representation, such as Sweden’s, I doubt very much if our child poverty rate would be so disgraceful.

James Paterson


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