The increasing financial vulnerability of Canadian households

The ballooning cost of living has had a disproportionate impact on low-income households, 77.6% of whom are financially vulnerable or extremely financially vulnerable. Prosper Canada's recently commissioned study from the Financial Resilience Institute, shows the unarguable deteriorating state of finances of Canadian households.

Eloise Duncan (Founder and CEO Financial Resilience Institute) presents an Overview of Financial Vulnerability of Low-Income Canadians: A Rising Tide study data.

The overview is followed by a panel discussion on how increasing financial vulnerability is playing out in communities and how policymakers should respond.

Panel speakers are:

  • Sasha McNicoll (Prosper Canada)
  • Eloise Duncan, (Financial Resilience Institute)
  • Louise Simbandumwe (SEED Winnipeg)

Click 'Get it' below to access the video link and scroll down to access video timestamps for this webinar.

Download the full Overview of Financial Vulnerability of Low-Income Canadians: A Rising Tide report here

 



Read the presentation slides for this webinar.

Download the Overview of Financial vulnerability of Low-Income Canadians: A Rising Tide

Time-stamps for the video recording:
00:00 – Start

6:05 – Agenda and Introductions

8:24 – Overview of Financial vulnerability, of low-income Canadians: A rising tide (Speaker: Eloise Duncan)

25:40 – Panel discussion: how increasing financial vulnerability is playing out in community and how policy makers should respond.

45:35 – Q&A

Financial Vulnerability of Low-Income Canadians: A Rising Tide

This report provides a call to action for more targeted support from policymakers, financial institutions and community non profit organizations for low-income households and Canadian households who are more financially vulnerable. This is particularly important given inequities, systemic barriers and challenges many of these households face, along with difficulties in accessing financial help.



National Financial Empowerment Champions Project: Summary Report

The National Financial Empowerment Champions (NFEC) Project supported leading non-profit community organizations and their local partners to develop, implement and scale proven financial empowerment (FE) interventions across Canada with the aim of improving the financial well-being of over one million Canadians.

This summary report captures the objectives, outputs, outcomes and lessons learned from the NFEC Project. A detailed Evaluation Framework and Evaluation Insights are also available.



2021 Reports of the Auditor General of Canada to the Parliament of Canada – Report 4 – Canada Child Benefit

A report from Auditor General Karen Hogan concludes that the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) managed the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) program so that millions of eligible families received accurate and timely payments. The audit also reviewed the one-time additional payment of up to $300 per child issued in May 2020 to help eligible families during the COVID‑19 pandemic.

The audit noted areas where the agency could improve the administration of the program by changing how it manages information it uses to assess eligibility to the CCB. For example, better use of information received from other federal organizations would help ensure that the agency is informed when a beneficiary has left the country. This would avoid cases where payments are issued on the basis of outdated information. To enhance the integrity of the program, the agency should request that all applicants provide a valid proof of birth when they apply for the benefit.

The audit also raised the concept of female presumption and noted that given the diversity of families in Canada today, this presumption has had an impact on the administration of the Canada Child Benefit program.



Tax Time: An opportunity to Start Small and Save Up

This paper provides a description of how having liquid savings contributes to people’s financial stability and resiliency, and the unique opportunity that tax time offers to begin saving for the short and longer term. Starting to save or continuing to save when receiving a tax refund may lead to longer term financial well-being. 

This paper also provides a few examples of how Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) programs creatively used Bureau tools, resources and technical assistance to encourage savings as well as some of the results they reported. It provides insights from a subgroup of the programs in the cohort that collected additional information from consumers on their intent to save, the various types of accounts into which they saved, and the goals they were striving for by saving. Finally, this paper offers recommendations on some strategies that can be employed to increase people’s interest and commitment to saving during the tax preparation process. 



Planning for tax-time savings

This report presents the results of a large-scale field experiment that the tax preparation company H&R Block (the Company) conducted in collaboration with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (the CFPB). The field experiment investigated whether customers could be encouraged, through consumer communications with and without the offer of a small financial incentive, to use a savings feature on a prepaid card to save a portion of their tax refunds from all sources, including state and federal refunds. The CFPB was particularly interested in whether consumers who receive the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) would be receptive to messages about saving. 



Helping financial empowerment champions deliver critical services to low-income Canadians

Service design consultancy Bridgeable provides an overview of the project partnership with Prosper Canada in April 2020 to take a design sprint approach in providing remote tax-filing and benefits application service solution.

Over the course of four consecutive days, Bridgeable worked with eighteen financial empowerment champion (FEC) partners to generate solutions to four key aspects for remote service delivery:

  1. Communicating with clients
  2. Verifying client ID
  3. Obtaining consent or signatures
  4. Obtaining or accessing client information



COVID-19 financial literacy resources

CPA Canada has put together resources to help manage your finances and provide you with the tools you need during this crisis – and beyond.