22.01.2018

Oxfam shows the gap between the richest and the others widens

400More than 80 per cent of the all the wealth generated globally last year flowed into the coffers of the richest one per cent of the population, a new Oxfam report has revealed.

The research, published on Monday, also shows that the 3.7 billion individuals who make up the poorest half of the global population saw their wealth flatline in 2017 – something that the group of charities describes as “unacceptable and unsustainable”.

“Something is very wrong with a global economy that allows the 1 per cent to enjoy the lion’s share of increases in wealth while the poorest half of humanity miss out,” said Mark Goldring, chief executive of Oxfam in the UK.

Oxfam International, which estimates that the bottom 50% of the world's population saw no increase in wealth.

Oxfam says the trend shows that the global economy is skewed in favor of the rich, rewarding wealth instead of work. "The billionaire boom is not a sign of a thriving economy but a symptom of a failing economic system," said Winnie Byanyima, executive director of Oxfam International.

The head of the advocacy group argued that the people who "make our clothes, assemble our phones and grow our food" are being exploited in order to enrich corporations and the super wealthy.

Billionaire wealth, it added, has risen by an annual average of 13 percent since 2010, over six times more than the wages of average workers, and the number of billionaires rose at an astonishing rate of one every two days in the year to March 2017.

Oxfam listed a series of actions government should take, including limiting returns to shareholders and top executives, ensuring workers receive a minimum "living wage" and pushing through policies to eliminate the gender pay gap and protect the rights of women workers. It also urged a clampdown on tax avoidance and other associated practices, which have been highlighted by the recent publication of the "Panama Papers" and the "Paradise Papers."

The study, released ahead of the World Economic Forum in Davos, was produced using data from Credit Suisse's (CS) Global Wealth Databook.






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