On average, each household in Canada benefits from the provision of some $16,000 worth of non-cash public programs and services per year. For two-thirds of Canadians, these non-cash programs, plus cash transfer payments like pensions and EI, are worth more than their tax payments.
Canadian governments spend over $200 billion per year to provide
non-cash public programs (like health care, education, and
infrastructure). That works out to $16,000 per family. The standard
of living of low-income Canadians is doubled by these non-cash
programs. Even for middle-income Canadians, these programs make up
25% or more of total consumption. And things like health care and
education make society even more equal: a 4-to-1 ratio of
inequality, instead of 27-to-1 for the private-sector economy.
Source: CAW Research from Statistics Canada, "Income in Canada" and "Canadian Economic Observer."