- This year’s Oxfam Inequality Report titled “Public Good or Private Wealth” reflects the gap between the rich and poor in this world. Oxfam International was established in 1995 by a group of independent NGO whose objective is to work together for reducing poverty and injustice. The secretariat is based in Nairobi, Kenya.
- The wealth of the world's billionaires increased by $900 bn in last year alone.
- The wealth of poorest half of humanity fell by 11%.
- Women are more often among the poorest people, especially during reproductive years.
- In rich countries wealth is undertaxed, the average top rate of people income tax fell from 62% in 1970 to 38% in 2013.
- In developing countries, the average top rate of personal income tax is 28%.
- Globally women earn 23% less than men and men own 501% more of the total wealth than women.
- The average number of children dying before they are five has decreased in almost every country in recent years but the gap between rich and poor is still unacceptable. A child from a poor family in Nepal is three times more likely to die before their birthday than a child from a rich family.
India Specific Finding
- The Indian billionaire’s wealth crossed $400 bn (Rs 28000bn) making the single largest increase since 2008 financial crises.
- Top 1% holds 51.53% of the national wealth whereas the bottom 62%, the majority of the population own merely 4.8% of the national wealth.
- Wealth of top 1% increased by 39% whereas wealth of the bottom 50% increased a dismal 3%.
- India’s top 10% of the population olds 77.4% of the total national wealth.
- The wealth of top 9 billionaires is equivalent to the wealth of the bottom 50 % of the population.
Steps to Reduce Inequality
- All governments must set concrete, time-bound targets and actions to reduce inequality as part of their commitments under SDG.
- Provide Universal Public Service, stop supporting privatization of public services.
- Wealth inequality is significantly higher than income inequality, so taxing wealth can make an important contribution to reducing economic inequality.
- Tackling corruption is central to reducing inequality.
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