A new survey by Angus Reid suggests rising living costs have a majority of Canadians struggling to keep up, with seven in 10 saying they worry about money regularly.
When asked “I can’t keep up with the cost of living.” 53% of Canadians agreed or strongly agreed with the statement according to the Cost of Living Index.
Between Feb. 11-13 the index conducted a poll Online with 1,622 Canadians on various issues including grocery affordability, rent or mortgage and the cost of child care.
“As prices rise, more Canadians have been changing what they buy to keep money for the essentials. Nearly half (46%) said they are switching to cheaper, lower quality brands at the grocery store as food prices rise and three-in-five (62%) said they aren’t going to restaurants as often, even as restrictions ease across the country,” researchers wrote.
In addition, 51% of respondents said they would be unable to survive with a $1,000 unexpected bill.
It appears when broken down by region, Saskatchewan was the most resilient province in Canada for unexpected expenses with 27% reporting they could no manage the unexpected bill.
Those polled also expressed concerns about job security and worried about losing their jobs, with 36% fearing somebody in their household could be out of work.
“The concern is not equal across the country. At least two-in-five in each of the country’s four westernmost provinces say they worry about job losses affecting their household. Fewer people in Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada say the same,” researchers wrote.
The findings are consistent with other polls, which show that people are becoming increasingly concerned about the state of the economy and how it will affect their personal finances.
According to the MNP Consumer Debt Index, 43% of Canadians say they’re struggling with their personal finances and paying off their debts while another 45% are concerned about meeting their living expenses.
“It is getting harder for Canadians to see the light at the end of the tunnel,” said MNP LTD president Grant Bazian in January 2022.
“Unexpected expenses are one of the biggest contributors to household financial turmoil, and many are starting the new year being dealt another round of unexpected business closures, reduced working hours or job loss, and COVID-related health concerns.”
When the data is broken down further, only 27% of people think they can deal with significant situations without going deeper into debt. Half of those polled indicated they are $200 or less away from being financially overburdened.
“We have seen households resorting to credit to make ends meet as their finances have been stretched thin over the course of the pandemic,” said Bazian. “With the cost of living on the rise, those households who were already overextended may feel they have to take on more debt just to afford basic necessities.”
Conservative critics have accused the Liberal government of mismanaging Canada’s finances, which has resulted in a spike in consumer prices across the country. Canadian inflation in housing, food prices, and supply chains for strategic goods
According to Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre “Our economy has become a gigantic inflated balloon. The asset class in which we see this balloon.”
In British Columbia the BC NDP just introduced the new Online Marketplace Tax and increased fossil fuel tax for heating an hot water.