Oxfam Inequality Report 2019: Highlights

Oxfam Inequality Report 2019: Highlights

About

  • 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.

Major Findings

  • 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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