Oxfam: World’s 26 richest people own as many assets as the half poorest people.

Oxfam said the wealth of more than 2,200 billionaires across the globe had increased by $900 billion in 2018 – or $2.5 billion a day.

According to a Guardian report, British charity Oxfam said in a report on Monday that the 26 richest billionaires own as many assets as the 3.8 billion people who make up the poorest half of the planet’s population.

Oxfam calls for 1% wealth tax, saying it would raise enough to educate every child who is not in school.

In an annual wealth check released to mark the start of the World Economic Forum in Davos, the development charity said 2018 had been a year in which the rich had grown richer and the poor poorer, reports the Guardian.

The Guardian reports of one example of the world’s billionaires, The world’s richest man, Jeff Bezos, the owner of Amazon, saw his fortune increase to $112bn. Just 1% of his fortune is equivalent to the whole health budget for Ethiopia, a country of 105 million people.

It said the widening gap was hindering the fight against poverty, adding that a 1 percent wealth tax would raise an estimated $418 billion a year – enough to educate every child, not in school and provide healthcare that would prevent three million deaths.

The 12 percent increase in the wealth of the very richest contrasted with a fall of 11 per cent in the wealth of the poorest half of the world’s population.

In the 10 years since the financial crisis, the number of billionaires has nearly doubled, Oxfam said, adding between 2017 and 2018, a new billionaire was created every two days.

Jeff Bezos, president, and CEO of Amazon, the world’s richest man.
“The massive fall in the number of people living in extreme poverty is one of the greatest achievements of the past quarter of a century but rising inequality is jeopardising further progress,” the Guardian quoted Oxfam’s director of campaigns and policy, Matthew Spencer, as saying.

“The way our economies are organised means wealth is increasingly and unfairly concentrated among a privileged few while millions of people are barely subsisting… It doesn’t have to be this way – there is enough wealth in the world to provide everyone with a fair chance in life.”

Oxfam said governments needed to do more to fund high-quality, universal public services through tackling tax dodging and ensuring fairer taxation, including on corporations and the richest individuals’ wealth, which it said were often undertaxed.

Take a look at the top ten billionaires according to Forbes listing:

  1. Jeff Bezos – $112 billion

  2. Bill Gates – $90 billion

  3. Warren Buffett – $84 billion

  4. Bernard Arnault – $72 billion

  5. Mark Zuckerberg – $71 billion

  6. Amancio Ortega – $70 billion

  7. Carlos Slim -$67.1 billion

  8. Charles Koch – $60 billion

  9. David Koch – $60 billion

  10. Larry Ellison – $58.5 billion

 

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