Canadians continue to struggle with job security, stagnant wages and skyrocketing costs for essential goods. Household debt is at a record 166 per cent of disposable income; and with two-thirds of Canadians living paycheque-to-paycheque, family budgets are stretched to the breaking point. In a country as prosperous as ours it is unacceptable -- and entirely avoidable -- that so many hardworking Canadians find themselves living from hand to mouth. New Democrats recognize that the government can, and must, take action to alleviate this financial strain. Strong, consumer-focused policies like the NDP has proposed for many years are a good first step.