The world’s richest eight men now hold as much wealth as 3.6 billion people who constitute the poorest half of the world, according to an Oxfam report.
The report titled ‘An economy for the 99 percent’was published by the antipoverty advocacy group ahead of the annual meeting of political and business leaders in Davos.
The report says that between 1988 and 2011 incomes of the poorest 10% increased by only $65 per person, compared to the incomes of the richest 1% that grew 182 times that much.
The report cited the inequality as a key factor in the recent victory of Donald Trump in the US election, the election of President Duterte in the Philippines, and Brexit.
The report further revealed how the super-rich are augmenting this inequality crisis by evading taxes through a network of tax havens, driving down wages for their workers and the prices paid to producers, and investing less in their business.
Inequality was also found to be gender-based, with women facing high levels of discrimination in the work place. According to estimates, it will take 170 years for women to be paid the same as men, the report added.
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The report estimated that the world could see its first trillionaire in just 25 years owing to the high growth in wealth accumulation rate of the richest.
Oxfam International executive director Winnie Byanyima said: “It is obscene for so much wealth to be held in the hands of so few when 1 in 10 people survive on less than $2 a day. Inequality is trapping hundreds of millions in poverty; it is fracturing our societies and undermining democracy.
“Across the world, people are being left behind. Their wages are stagnating yet corporate bosses take home million dollar bonuses; their health and education services are cut while corporations and the super-rich dodge their taxes; their voices are ignored as governments sing to the tune of big business and a wealthy elite.”
In order to bridge the disparity, Oxfam in its report has urged the governments to raise taxes on wealth and high incomes, and generate funds required to invest in healthcare, education and job creation.