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Richest 1% has more wealth than the rest of the world: Oxfam report

The richest 1% now has more wealth than the rest of the world combined. Power and privilege is being used to skew the economic system to increase the gap between the richest and the rest, says a report issued by Oxfam.

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Titled ‘An Economy For The 1%’, the report sheds light on how privilege and power in the economy drive extreme inequality and ways to stop it.

The report states that a global network of tax havens further enables the richest individuals to hide $7.6 trillion. The fight against poverty will not be won until the inequality crisis is tackled.

According to Oxfam findings, in 2015, just 62 individuals had the same wealth as 3.6 billion people – the bottom half of humanity. This figure is down from 388 individuals as recently as 2010.

“The wealth of the richest 62 people has risen by 44% in the five years since 2010 – that’s an increase of more than half a trillion dollars ($542bn), to $1.76 trillion.”

The report highlights that “since the turn of the century, the poorest half of the world’s population has received just 1% of the total increase in global wealth, while half of that increase has gone to the top 1%.”

Oxfam calls on governments to take action to reverse this trend.

It wants workers paid a living wage and the gap with executive rewards to be narrowed.

It calls for an end to the gender pay gap, compensation for unpaid care and the promotion of equal land and inheritance rights for women.

It  said economic policy must tackle economic inequality and gender discrimination together. Specific commitments must include: compensation for unpaid care; an end to the gender pay gap; equal inheritance and land rights for women; and data collection to assess how women and girls are affected by economic policy.

The report said too much wealth is concentrated in the hands of the few. The tax burden is falling on ordinary people, while the richest companies and individuals pay too little. Governments must act together to correct this imbalance. Specific commitments must include: shifting the tax burden away from labour and consumption and towards wealth, capital and income from these assets; transparency on tax incentives; and national wealth taxes.

Click here to see detailed report 

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