The growing gap between the rich and poor is hurting the fight against poverty, damaging economies and fuelling public anger, says Oxfam.
Davos: The world's 26 richest people own the same wealth as the poorest half of humanity, Oxfam said Monday, urging governments to hike taxes on the wealthy to fight soaring inequality.
A new report from the charity, published ahead of the World Economic Forum in Davos, also found that billionaires around the world saw their combined fortunes grow by USD2.5 billion each day in 2018.
The 3.8 billion people at the bottom of the scale meanwhile saw their wealth decline by 11 per cent last year, Oxfam said, stressing that the growing gap between rich and poor was undermining the fight against poverty, damaging economies and fuelling public anger.
"People across the globe are angry and frustrated," warned Oxfam executive director Winnie Byanyima in a statement. The numbers are stark: Between 1980 and 2016, the poorest half of humanity pocketed just 12 cents on each dollar of global income growth, compared with the 27 cents captured by the top one percent, the report found.
"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".
Oxfam found that asking the richest to pay just 0.5 per cent extra tax on their wealth "could raise more money than it would cost to educate all 262 million children out of school and provide healthcare that would save the lives of 3.3 million people".