Inequality growing, new report


Children play with thrash in Kibera slum in Nairobi, Kenya, photo NOS/Bart Kamphuis

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

‘Inequality continues to grow, rich people pay less and less tax

The inequality between rich and poor is still increasing worldwide. That is what Oxfam Novib says in its annual report on the eve of the World Economic Forum in Davos, the summit of politicians, world leaders and businessmen.

The 22 richest men in the world together own more than all women in Africa. About 2000 billionaires together are richer than 4.6 billion people, who make up 60 percent of the world’s population, together. In the Time to Care report, Oxfam Novib again uses compelling comparisons to draw attention to the global gap between the (super) rich and those who have little to nothing.

The number of people living in extreme poverty is declining, according to the development organization. But the inequality is increasing, partly because the super-rich and multinational corporations pay less and less tax. The number of billionaires has doubled in the last ten years. While the rich are getting richer, the message is, education and health care are coming under increasing pressure in many countries.

Stuck at the bottom

This year, special attention is requested for women and children. In poor countries, they often spend the majority of their time cooking, cleaning and caring for children and the elderly. According to Oxfam Novib, unpaid care work is one of the “hidden engines employed by a system that allows profits to flow away to big corporations and their shareholders.”

Because of this system, women and children have little or no time to earn a decent income or to have an education. “They are stuck at the bottom of the economy,” the report says.

The Netherlands plays a bad role

According to Oxfam Novib, the Netherlands is playing a “bad role” in growing the gap between rich and poor. From international research it appears that of the profit that multinationals divert around the world to avoid tax, about 10 percent ends up in the Netherlands. “Our country must now really eliminate tax avoidance,” says Oxfam Novib director Michiel Servaes.

162 BILLIONAIRES HAVE THE WEALTH OF HALF OF HUMANITY In a stark reminder of gaping global inequality, a new report says 162 billionaires, including Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, have as much wealth as the poorest half of the world. There are 2,153 billionaires globally, and, in 2019, they held more wealth combined than 4.6 billion people, according to the report. [HuffPost]

See also here.

UK: Highest-paid CEOs take home 117 times that of an average paid worker: here.

Climate change “spin” as Davos gathering confronts mounting environmental and economic crisis: here.

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