Canadians reveal pre-federal budget priorities

New poll sheds light on variation in priorities across genders, generations, and regions

Canadians reveal pre-federal budget priorities

With Canada’s federal budget soon to be unveiled by Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, a new Ipsos poll reveals the top priorities Canadians would like to see addressed.

In the survey of 1,500 Canadians aged 18 and above conducted earlier this month, 53% cited their primary need is assistance with the rising cost of everyday necessities due to inflation, followed by lowering taxes (45%) and increasing healthcare investment (40%).

While these top three goals may not seem surprising considering the ongoing pandemic and inflationary issues, a closer look at the demographics reveals that priorities range among genders, age, and locations.

The top three objectives for both men and women are the same as for all Canadians: assistance with the expense of basic necessities, lower taxes, and investments in healthcare. However, as with secondary concerns, the strength of opinion on these matters fluctuates.

Men are more likely to say that cutting expenditure should be a key priority for the 2022 budget, whereas women are more likely to say that housing, healthcare, and basic needs should be addressed in the federal budget:

  • Decreasing the deficit (25% men vs. 15% women)
  • Reducing the size of the government's budget (25% men vs. 18% women)
  • Assist with the rising cost of everyday necessities as a result of inflation (58% women vs. 48% men)
  • Increased healthcare spending (43% women vs. 36% men)
  • Cooling measures for the housing market (27% women vs. 15% men)

Looking at federal budget priorities across generations, Boomer respondents were more likely to emphasize investments in healthcare (54% vs. 38% for Gen X, 32% for Millennials, and 24% for Gen Z), a reduction in overall government spending (28% vs. 21% for Gen X, 17% for Millennials, and 12% for Gen Z), and decreasing the deficit (27% Boomers vs. 17% Gen X, 18% Millennials, 12% Gen Z).

Boomers, who remain the generation most likely to own their own home, were also the least likely to prioritize measures to cool the housing market (13%).

In contrast, 22% of Gen Xers, 28% of Millennials, and 30% of Gen Zers said they wanted the Finance Minister to announce steps aimed at containing the housing market heat.