June 6, 2012

A picture of crisis in numbers

Is the Quebec Student Strike is leading to a new discussion and sense of solidarity among
young people across the country, objectively based on class-lines?

Richest 1 per cent increased their share of total income from 8.1 per cent in 1980 to 13.3 in 2007
Richest 0.1 per cent doubled their share from 2 per cent to 5.3
The 100 best-paid CEOs made an average of $6.6 million, 155 times the average wage of $42,988
Tax rate for richest dropped from 43 per cent in 1981 to 29 per cent in 2010
Cost of corporate tax cuts: more than $10 billion yearly

Richest 10 per cent made 24 per cent more in 2006 than the richest in 1976
Middle earners: 6.4 per cent more
Poorest: 10 per cent less

Average tuition in Quebec: $2,500
Average in rest of Canada: $5,000
Average in Ontario: $6,307
Tuition as a percentage of total university and college revenue has doubled, from 10 per cent to 21
Quebec's tuition hike: $325 a year for the next five years (amended to seven years), totalling a $1,625 increase

Average student debt in Quebec: $13,000
Average student debt in the rest of Canada: $26,000
Percentage of Canadian youth in post-secondary education: 74
Percentage of Quebec youth in post-secondary education: 83
Cost of free education in Quebec: less than 1 per cent of the government's budget
For every $1,000 fee hike: proportion of poor students drops by 19 per cent

Total student debt in Canada, including private loans: $20 billion
Youth unemployment: 14 to 20 per cent
Percentage of students defaulting on government loans: 14
Percentage of Canadians 20 to 24 living with parents: 73
Percentage 25 to 29 living with parents: 33 per cent

Cost of F-35 fighter jets over 20 years: $25 billion
Cost of wiping out Canada's student debt: $20 billion

Sources: Statistics Canada, Institute de Recherche d'Informations Socio-Economiques, Canadian Federation of Students, Canadian Association of University Teachers, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Conference Board of Canada, Escalator To The Bottom This article was first published in NOW Magazine.

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