Photo / Alisha Lovrich This May, the prestigious Rotorua Marathon marks its 55th birthday — and celebrates joining forces with Oxfam NZ to battle poverty and injustice. On the 4th of May, participants now have the chance to take on the unique 42.2km ‘lap of the lake’ course around Lake Rotorua while fundraising for Oxfam NZ.
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Oxfam’s new inequality report, which reveals that billionaires’ fortunes grew by $2.5 billion a day last year, as poorest half of humanity – 3.8 billion people – saw their wealth fall, is making headlines around the globe. Since we launched, we have received lots questions. Here are our responses to seven of the most frequently asked questions.
Savelugu Girls Model School in Ghana, one of several model schools that are funded and administered by the local authorities. Photo Lotte Ærsøe/Oxfam Ibis.
The current inequality crisis is the direct result of this moral failure. Our exclusive, highly unequal society based on extreme wealth for the few may seem sturdy and inevitable right now, but it will collapse. Before long, the pitchforks will come out and the ensuing chaos will benefit no one. Not wealthy people like me - and certainly not the poorest people who have already been left behind.
A little change can go a long way. Oxfam estimates that a tiny 0.5 percent increase in tax on the wealth of the richest one percent could raise more than it would cost to educate all the children who are currently out of school and provide healthcare that would save the lives of 3.3 million people.
Billionaire fortunes increased globally by 12 percent last year – or US$2.5 billion a day – while the 3.8 billion people who make up the poorest half of humanity saw their wealth decline by 11 percent, reveals a new report from Oxfam today. The report is being launched as political and business leaders gather for the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
The two richest people in New Zealand added an astounding NZ$1.1billion to their fortunes in 2017-2018, while the wealth of the poorest half of the country decreased overall, according to new Oxfam research released today. The report reveals that the richest 5% of the population collectively owns more wealth than the bottom 90%.
Just one year ago, 13.4 million leaked files from offshore service providers and company registries were made public. This leak, known as the Paradise Papers, revealed the tax planning strategies of more than 100 multinational corporations, including Nike and Apple, as well as offshore activities by more than 120 politicians and world leaders. Like always politicians were quick to react and promise reforms. But so far very little has happened. A new Paradise Papers is to be expected if no serious reforms are undertaken in the coming years. Just recently Zucman estimated that multinationals artificially shift almost half of their total overseas profits – 40 percent – to tax havens.
Last year, the Paradise Papers laid bare the extent to which multinationals and extremely wealthy individuals exploit a broken global system. This system allows them to avoid paying their fair share of tax which contributes to poverty and inequality around the world. One year on, it is clear we still need to do more.
A lack of tax transparency allows multinational corporations to unfairly avoid paying billions in tax. That’s less revenue for vital public services and infrastructure. Last month we revealed shocking new evidence that four big drug companies - Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Abbott and Merck & Co. (also known as MSD)* appear to be using offshore tax havens to avoid paying billions of dollars in tax. NZ$21 million to be precise, just here in New Zealand.