Tuesday, 23 April, 2019

World's richest people made $2.5 billion a day in 2018

Richard Chandler was another rich-lister who got richer SuppliedRichard Chandler was another rich-lister who got richer
Jeannette Daniel | 21 January, 2019, 18:50

Oxfam also issued a series of recommendations to reduce income inequality, calling on governments to deliver universal free health care and education, find ways to ease the burden on women as caregivers and increase taxes on the rich.

"This is not inevitable, this is unacceptable", Winnie Byanyima, Oxfam International's executive director said.

The world's richest man, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, saw his fortune increase to $112bn a year ago, Oxfam said, pointing out that just one percent of his wealth was the equivalent to the entire health budget of Ethiopia, a country of 105 million people. Globally, billionaires' fortunes rose by 12 per cent or $2.5 billion a day in 2018, whereas the poorest half of the world's population saw their wealth decline by 11 per cent, the worldwide rights group said in its annual study released before the start of the five-day World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting in this Swiss ski resort town. By contrast, the world's poorest 50 percent saw their total wealth decrease by 11 percent.

It said getting the world's richest 1 percent to pay just 0.5 percent extra tax on their wealth could raise more money than it would cost to educate the 262 million children out of school, and provide lifesaving health care for 3.3 million people.

"It (the survey) reveals how governments are exacerbating inequality by underfunding public services, such as healthcare and education, on the one hand, while under taxing corporations and the wealthy, and failing to clamp down on tax dodging on the other", Oxfam India CEO Amitabh Behar was quoted as saying by PTI.

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To address many of these ills, Oxfam advocated raising taxes.

"The super-rich and corporations are paying lower rates of tax than they have in decades", the Oxfam report said, pointing out that "the human costs - children without teachers, clinics without medicines - are huge".

Analysts found that 3.4 billion people have barely escaped extreme poverty and are living on less than $5.50 a day while stressing the growing gap between rich and poor was undermining the fight against poverty, damaging economies, and increasing public anger. Meanwhile, in 2018 alone, India's 119 billionaires saw their wealth mushrooming by Rs 2,200 crore a day on average. "The corporate tax rate has been similarly slashed around the world over the past decades, with some countries now mulling over further cuts in response to the U.S. move to do so". The mega-wealthy have also become a more concentrated bunch.

"Piecemeal private services punish poor people and privilege elites", it said, stressing that every day, some 10,000 people die due to lacking access to affordable healthcare.

Oxfam said its calculations are based on the latest comprehensive data sources available publicly, including from the Credit Suisse Wealth Databook and the annual Forbes Billionaires List.

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