Extreme inequality is hurting us all – damaging economic growth, fuelling crime, and squandering the hopes and ambitions of billions who are trapped at the bottom with no way out.
Such stark inequality is not inevitable – it is the consequence of political and economic choices. With extreme wealth comes power and influence – we’re living in a world where the rules are rigged in favour of the few and at the expense of the many. So while the wealth of the few grows greater, the poorest are left behind.
It doesn’t have to be this way – together we can even things up.
We can change the rules on tax to make sure the richest pay their fair share. We can demand more spending on public health and education to give the poor a fighting chance. We can demand fair wages for everyone. We can make sure the poorest have a voice, and those voices are heard by those in power.
- Billionaire wealth increased by $762 billion in 2017, enough to end extreme poverty seven times over.
- Oxfam has calculated that in 2017 the richest 1% of people on the planet bagged 82% of the wealth created that year, while the poorest half of humanity got nothing.
- In New Zealand, the richest 1% bagged 28% of wealth created in 2017 while the bottom 30% of the country got just 1%.
- Seven out of ten people live in countries where the gap between the rich and poor is worse than thirty years ago.
- 2017 saw the biggest increase in billionaires in history, one more every two days.
- It takes just four days for a CEO from one of the top five global fashion brands to earn what a Bangladeshi garment worker will earn in her entire lifetime.
- Without action, it will take 75 years to achieve equal pay between men and women.
The time is now. The world has woken up to the gap between the rich and rest. From Spain to South Africa, and Peru to Pakistan, people are already demanding a world that is fairer than this.
Oxfam International executive director Winnie Byanyima and New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern have met to discuss global and New Zealand issues including the upcoming national well-being budget and global inequality.
The world’s biggest pharmaceutical companies who are behind some of New Zealand’s most trusted brands – including Neutrogena, BAND-AID, Johnson’s Baby and Chap Stick - appear to be unfairly avoiding an estimated NZ$21million in tax per year in New Zealand, reveals new research from Oxfam today.
Eighty two per cent of the wealth generated last year went to the richest one per cent of the global population, while the 3.7 billion people who make up the poorest half got nothing, according to a new Oxfam report released today. The report is being launched as political and business elites gather for the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.