Panel analyzes ways to increase opportunities through wages and social programs

A report outlining the effects of social programs and removing barriers for low-income individuals and families was discussed at a recent panel discussion hosted by Action for Boston Community Development in Dorchester.

The “Obstacles on the Road to Opportunity” report, sponsored by the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center and Massachusetts Association for Community Action, concluded that wage growth and reinvestment in social programs could help close the inequality gap.

“We know how to increase wages at all income brackets. Why don’t we do that now?” asked panelist Libby Hayes, executive director of Homes for Families.

Hayes said it is important to understand what is going on with poor people, but there should be a study on those who allow inequality to persist.

“We really have to look at people understanding what our expectations for society are … and put our money where our mouth is and not accept the status quo,” Hayes said. “Why the lack of political will?”