62 richest people own as much as 50 percentage worlds population wealth Oxfam
The wealthiest 62 people now own as much as half the worlds population, some 3.5 billion people, as the super-rich have grown richer and the poor poorer, an international charity said on Monday.
The wealth of the richest 62 people has risen by 44 percentage since 2010, while the wealth of the poorest 3.5 billion fell 41 percentage, Oxfam said in a report released ahead of the World Economic Forums annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland.
Almost half the super-rich individuals are from the United States, 17 from Europe, and the rest from countries including China, Brazil, Mexico, Japan and Saudi Arabia.
world leaders concern about the escalating inequality crisis has so far not translated into concrete action the world has become a much more unequal place and the trend is accelerating, Oxfam Internationals executive director, Winnie Byanima, said in a statement accompanying the report.
We cannot continue to allow hundreds of millions of people to go hungry while resources that could be used to help them are sucked up by those at the top, Byanima added.
About 7.6 trillion of individuals wealth sits in offshore tax havens, and if tax were paid on the income that this wealth generates, an extra 190 billion would be available to governments every year, Gabriel Zucman, assistant professor at University of California, Berkeley, has estimated.
As much as 30 percentage of all African financial wealth is held offshore, costing about 14 billion in lost tax revenues every year, Oxfam said, referring to Zucmans work.
This is enough money to pay for healthcare that could save 4 million childrens lives a year, and employ enough teachers to get every African child into school, Oxfam said in its report.
Multinational companies and wealthy elites are playing by different rules to everyone else, refusing to pay the taxes that society needs to function. The fact that 188 of 201 leading companies have a presence in at least one tax haven shows it is time to act, Byanima said.
Ensuring governments collect the taxes they are owed by companies and rich individuals will be vital if world leaders are to meet their goal to eliminate extreme poverty by 2030, one of 17 Sustainable Development Goals set in September, Oxfam said.
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