Global Rich To Become Richer, To Own Half Of The World By 2016 – Oxfam

By @ibtimesau on

A majority of the world’s wealth is set to be owned by the richest 1 percent of the global populace, a new report published Monday by charity group Oxfam said. Suffice to say, the gap between the richest and the rest is “widening fast," Oxfam Executive Director Winnie Byanyima said.

The report of the British charity, titled “Wealth: Having It All and Wanting More,” and released before the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, scheduled this week, revealed the share of the richest one percent of the world’s wealth has jumped to 48 percent in 2014 from 44 percent in 2009. And Oxfam believed that by 2016, the chosen few will own over 50 percent of the world’s wealth.

“Despite the issues shooting up the global agenda … the scale of global inequality is quite simply staggering," Byanyima said. It was learned that the elite group’s average wealth per adult is a whopping $2.7 million (2.3 million euros).

On the remaining 52 percent, the Oxfam report said the richest fifth of the world's population, representing 46 percent, owns the world’s wealth. The remaining 5.5 percent global wealth is shared by 80 percent, at an average wealth of $3,851 (3,330 euros) per adult.

To further illustrate the widening gap, Oxfam said the bottom 3.5 billion of the world’s population has an average wealth of $540 per head, while the richest 80 people enjoys a whopping $23.7 billion per head.

Ryan Bourne, head of public policy at the London-based Institute of Economic Affairs, told CNBC that rather than focusing on the top 1 percent, global governments should prioritise policies promoting “free trade, open markets, stable property rights, and the elimination of corruption that can ensure that many other countries can replicate the Asian growth miracle."

On the other hand, Oxfam urged governments to adopt a seven-point plan to tackle inequality:

- 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.



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