Richest 1% own two-thirds all new wealth, report shows

Inna D
John Kerry and members of the First Movers Coalition at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2022 in Davos.Photo byWorld Economic Forum

Coinciding the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland this week, Oxfam released a new report detailing the sheer wealth of the world’s richest group.

Their “Survival of the Richest” report showed that the top 1% of richest individuals accounted for two-thirds of new wealth created since 2020 ($42 trillion). This was almost twice as much money as the amount obtained by the bottom 99 percent of the world’s population.

Billionaire fortunes are increasing by $2.7bn a day, while at least 1.7 billion workers now live in countries where inflation is outpacing wages, the report said.

Half of the world’s billionaires live in countries with no inheritance tax for direct descendants, which allows them to continue generating money, on track to pass on $5 trillion to their heirs, more than the gross domestic product (GDP) of Africa, Oxfam shows.

Oxfam’s Executive Director Gabriela Bucher spoke to news site Al Jazeera and called the findings of the report “shocking”.

“It’s shameful that … one percent of humanity is taking double the wealth of the whole 99 percent combined,” she said.
“It outpaces what was happening in the last 10 years – which was that they were having half and half. So we can see that wealth accumulation is accelerating in the middle of this crisis that we’re facing globally,”  Bucher added.
“What we’re calling for is for countries to introduce new taxes and discussing in those countries what is fair … in certain countries like Nigeria or in India, we know that wealth taxation could be a significant change for the budget of the country, and would enable them to invest much more in health and education – things that matter to everyone.”

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