Wealth_Inheritance_Young_Man

Canadians vastly underestimate the wealth gap in Canada, and want a much more balanced distribution, finds a poll by Broadbent Institute.

“Canada is much more unequal than Canadians think it is and a far cry from what they think it should be. That holds true for people of all political stripes, including Conservative voters,” says Rick Smith, executive director of the Broadbent Institute.

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According to the poll of 3,000 Canadians, the ideal wealth distribution would see 60% of Canadians in the middle class owning roughly 60% of the wealth. The richest 20% would be three times richer than the poorest 20%, who would still own a significant share of the pie — 11.5% compared to 30.3% for the wealthiest fifth.

Canadians think the actual distribution of wealth in the country is much more unequal than the ideal, the survey shows. People think the richest 20% in Canada own 10 times the wealth of the poorest 20% — 55.5% of the wealth compared to 5.8%. And they think there’s still a sizeable middle class, and the poorest own at least some share of the pie.

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As bad as Canadians think wealth inequality is, the reality is much worse. The richest 20% hold 67.4% of all wealth, while the poorest 20% don’t control any wealth at all.

Other key findings include:

  • 80% say the gap between the rich and everybody else has increased over the last 10 years;
  • 73% Canadians believe government can do something to reduce the wealth gap; and
  • 80% suggest increasing the federal income tax rate on the highest income tax bracket.

Originally published on Advisor.ca

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