Larry Elliott “Half global wealth held by the 1%” http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/jan/19/global-wealth-oxfam-inequality-davos-economic-summit-switzerland
The charity’s research, published today*2, shows that the share of the world’s wealth owned by the best-off 1% has increased from 44% in 2009 to 48% in 2014, while the least well-off 80% currently own just 5.5%.
Oxfam added that on current trends the richest 1% would own more than 50% of the world’s wealth by 2016.
Oxfam made headlines at Davos last year with a study showing that the 85 richest people on the planet have the same wealth as the poorest 50% (3.5 billion people)*3. The charity said this year that the comparison was now even more stark, with just 80 people owning the same amount of wealth as more than 3.5 billion people, down from 388 in 2010.
Byanyima*4 said: “Do we really want to live in a world where the 1% own more than the rest of us combined? The scale of global inequality is quite simply staggering and despite the issues shooting up the global agenda, the gap between the richest and the rest is widening fast.”
Oxfam said the wealth of the richest 80 doubled in cash terms between 2009 and 2014, and that there was an increasing tendency for wealth to be inherited and to be used as a lobbying tool by the rich to further their own interests. It noted that more than a third of the 1,645 billionaires listed by Forbes inherited some or all of their riches, while 20% have interests in the financial and insurance sectors, a group which saw their cash wealth increase by 11% in the 12 months to March 2014.
These sectors spent $550m lobbying policymakers in Washington and Brussels during 2013. During the 2012 US election cycle alone, the financial sector provided $571m in campaign contributions.
Oxfam said it was calling on governments to adopt a seven point plan:
• Clamp down on tax dodging by corporations and rich individuals.
• Invest in universal, free public services such as health and education.
• Share the tax burden fairly, shifting taxation from labour and consumption towards capital and wealth.
• Introduce minimum wages and move towards a living wage for all workers.
• Introduce equal pay legislation and promote economic policies to give women a fair deal.
• Ensure adequate safety-nets for the poorest, including a minimum-income guarantee.
• Agree a global goal to tackle inequality.
2015.01.12 Mon posted at 12:04 JST
*2:Wealth: Having It All and Wanting More http://www.oxfam.org/sites/www.oxfam.org/files/file_attachments/ib-wealth-having-all-wanting-more-190115-en.pdf See “Richest 1% will own more than all the rest by 2016” http://www.oxfam.org/en/pressroom/pressreleases/2015-01-19/richest-1-will-own-more-all-rest-2016
*3:See Graeme Wearden “Oxfam: 85 richest people as wealthy as poorest half of the world” http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/jan/20/oxfam-85-richest-people-half-of-the-world
*4:“Winnie Byanyima, executive director of Oxfam International”