World's richest 1.0pc grab 82pc of global wealth: Oxfam

| Updated: January 23, 2018 14:45:40

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Some 82 per cent of money generated in 2017 went in the pockets of the richest one per cent, while the poorest half saw no increase at all, Oxfam international said on Monday.

The gap between the super rich and the rest of the world widened in the year as wealth continued to be owned by a small minority, the Oxfam has claimed.

In the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Switzerland, the charity showed a report highlighting a global system that rewards the super-rich and neglects the poor.

The Oxfam said its figures - which critics have queried - showed a failing system.

It blamed tax evasion, firms' influence on policy, erosion of workers' rights, and cost cutting for the widening gap.

Oxfam has produced similar reports for the past five years. In 2017 it calculated that the world's eight richest individuals had as much wealth as the poorest half of the world, reports BSS.

This year, 42 people now had as much wealth as the poorest half, but it revised last year's figure to 61, Oxfam said.

It said that the revision was due to improved data and said the trend of "widening inequality" remained.

Winnie Byanyima, Oxfam's executive director, said, "(It) reveals how our economies are rewarding wealth rather than the hard work of millions of people."

"The few at the top get richer and richer and the millions at the bottom are trapped in poverty wages," Byanyima said.

She blamed "tax dodging" as a major cause of global inequality and urged leaders to clamp down on tax havens and plough money into education, healthcare and jobs for young people.

The annual report by Oxfam found that the number of billionaires rose at a rate of one every two days between March 2016 and March 2017.

Oxfam said that women workers were worst hit by global inequality as they consistently earn less than men and usually have lower paid and more insecure forms of work.

The World Economic Forum has previously estimated that it would take 217 years before women earn as much as men and have equal representation in the workplace.

Oxfam called for all workers to receive a minimum living wage, the elimination of the gender pay gap and tougher rules to crackdown on tax avoidance.

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