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62 People Have Wealth of Half World’s Population

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62 People Have Wealth of Half World’s Population

Oxfam report coincides with annual Davos conference

In a report that highlights not just the massive disparity between the rich and the poor, but the speed at which the gap is widening, Oxfam have called for urgent measures to address the imbalance.

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The charity claims that in 2010 the wealth of the world’s poorest 50% was matched by the 388 richest people, with the figure dropping to just 62 by the end of 2015. In the same time period, the wealth of the poorest 50% fell by 41% – the 62 richest added a combined $500 billion to their worth.

Oxfam has also reported that 2016 will be the year in which the wealth of the 1% outstrips that of the 99%, and is demanding the world acts to halt the rising disparity. It believes that a crack down on tax avoidance, increased investment in public infrastructure and higher wages for the lower paid are the minimum needed to bring about a fairer global society.

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Oxfam GB chief executive Mark Goldring said, “It is simply unacceptable that the poorest half of the world population owns no more than a small group of the global super-rich – so few, you could fit them all on a single coach.

“World leaders’ concern about the escalating inequality crisis has so far not translated into concrete action to ensure that those at the bottom get their fair share of economic growth. In a world where one in nine people go to bed hungry every night, we cannot afford to carry on giving the richest an ever bigger slice of the cake.”

By releasing the report before the World Economic Forum meeting at Davos which begins on 20 January, Oxfam hopes to challenge multinational corporations that have off shore accounts that facilitate tax avoidance – 90% of WEF corporate partners have a presence in tax havens.

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