the main points:
- The richest one percent captured 63 percent of the new wealth created since the pandemic.
- At the same time, extreme poverty increased for the first time in 25 years.
- The world’s billionaires see their combined wealth increase by $5 billion a day.
From COVID-19 to the rising cost of living and the increasingly devastating effects of climate change, the world is grappling with crises on multiple fronts.
But while the vast majority of the more than eight billion people on the planet are worse off, a small handful of ultra-wealthy people and corporations have seen their wealth balloon in recent years.
Ago In 2020, the richest 1 percent made nearly twice as much money as the 99 percent of the world, with extreme wealth and extreme poverty growing simultaneously for the first time in 25 years, according to Released by anti-poverty organization Oxfam this week.
Australia has followed this trend, with over 11 more billionaires in the country than it was at the start of 2020.
Oxfam Australia’s Director of Programs, Anthea Spinks, said the ultra-rich have “outgrown even their wildest dreams” while most people around the world make daily sacrifices to survive.
She added, “Decades of tax cuts for the wealthiest people and corporations have led to inequality at home and around the world, with the poorest paying higher tax rates than many CEOs and millionaires.”
Between December 2019 and December 2021, about $60 trillion in new wealth was created worldwide, with the richest one percent accounting for 63 percent of that, or $37 trillion, according to the report.
Its release coincides with the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, as the world’s political and business elite are disintegrating amid the looming threat of a widespread recession.
Cost of living crisis or cost of profit? The reality of inflation
Oxfam has argued that the inflation-fueled cost-of-living crisis grappling with Australia and other parts of the world could aptly be renamed the ‘cost-of-profit’ crisis.
“The current cost-of-living crisis, with food and energy prices soaring, is also creating huge windfalls for many at the top. Food and energy companies are seeing record profits and making record payments to their wealthy shareholders and billionaires.
“Corporate profiteering drives at least 50 per cent of inflation in Australia, the US and Europe, in what is as much a ‘cost of profit’ crisis as the cost of living crisis,” the report said.
The report cites studies showing that in the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia, 54 percent, 59 percent and 60 percent of inflation, respectively, was driven by an increase in corporate profits.
Oxfam found that while more than 1.7 billion workers live in countries where inflation now exceeds wages, the world’s billionaires see their combined wealth increase by $5 billion every day.
What’s the solution?
The Oxfam report said that closing loopholes in tax avoidance and appropriately taxing the ultra-wealthy and corporations is “the exit door to today’s many-sided crisis”.
In Australia, Oxfam is calling on the federal government to abandon the upcoming third phase of tax cuts and “instead, implement a systematic and widespread increase in taxes on the super-rich, including the wealth tax and corporate windfall gains tax, which would It restores the gains made by some companies against the background of crises and suffering, such as the epidemic and the war in Ukraine.
The Albanian government has Reversing the third stage tax credit designed by the Morrison government for wealthy Australians, which was enacted in 2019 with the support of the then Labor opposition, it is due to come into force in 2024-25.
Oxfam said a wealth tax of 2 percent on people over $7 million, 3 percent on those over $67 million and 5 percent on Australian billionaires alone would raise $29.1 billion annually.
This money can then be redistributed to bolster Australia’s foreign aid budget, reduce poverty by increasing income support payments, build more social housing homes, and help families save on energy bills by investing in grants to help people get off gas.