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Wednesday, 9 April 2014

The Squeezed Generation - GenSqueeze: Trying to prevent an impeding public health crisis for young families

If you haven’t heard about Paul Kershaw and Generation Squeeze, you should do some researching. 
The issue is a simple one.  In developing one of the best countries to age in, we have developed a country that is squeezing young families into a state of unaffordability.  Social investments have disproportionately benefited those of us in our waning years while shifting a financial burden from which young adults may never recover. 

From the GenSqueeze website some of the key messages have been condensed to “tweetable” clips, written out in full below.
·         In 1976, on average, Canadians age 25-34 worked 5 years to save a 20% down payment on their home. Today it takes 10 years and in BC, 15.
·         High housing prices are the primary source of wealth for Boomers, and the primary source of debt for GenSqueeze.
·         While the economy doubled since 1976, average wealth for Canadians aged 25-34 fell 41%. At the same time, average wealth grew 176% for those aged 55-64.
·         Canadians barely reduced CO2 emissions per person since 1976, so GenSqueeze and their children are inheriting the cost of environmental change.
·         Today, younger Canadians work and study more to have less. Their earnings have dropped by 11% since 1976, even though they are twice as likely to have post-secondary education.
·         The squeeze tightens when starting a family. Families can lose up to $15k in household income after their baby is born, even with parental leave benefits. Plus, child care services are hard to find and often cost more than university.
·         There’s a generational spending gap in Canada. Governments spend $12k on benefits and services per Canadian under 45, compared to $45k per retiree.
·         Government spending on medical care and pensions has grown by billions since 1976, but spending on families with young children hasn’t changed.
·         Canadian governments spend as much subsidizing livestock and agriculture as child care and parental time at home with a new baby.
·         Increases to pension & medical care cut poverty for retirees from 29% in 1976 to 6% today--less than any other age group in Canada. We can repeat this success for Gen Squeeze.
·         Our campaign is about narrowing the generational spending gap, not eliminating it.
·         A Better Generational Deal could start by increasing government spending per Canadian under 45 from $12k to $13k, maintaining spending per retiree around $45k.
·         We can safeguard our medical care and retirement security without sacrificing our children’s present and our grandchildren’s future.
·         A New Deal for Families can save GenSqueeze $50k before their children start school, giving them a chance to pay off student debt, reduce housing costs, make shorter work weeks affordable and/or help save for retirement.
·         Everyone benefits from a Better Generational Deal to Reduce the Squeeze. Find out more at www.gensqueeze.ca  

Do check out the GenSqueeze website and sign up to support an effort that is a real investement in our future families. 

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