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In 2015, the leaders of 193 governments promised to reduce inequality under Goal 10 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Without reducing inequality, meeting SDG 1 to eliminate poverty will be impossible. In 2017, Development Finance International (DFI) and Oxfam produced the first index to measure the commitment of governments to reduce the gap between the rich and the poor.
New Oxfam research shows that four pharmaceutical corporations—Abbott, Johnson & Johnson, Merck & Co. (also known as MSD), and Pfizer—systematically stash their profits in overseas tax havens. They appear to deprive developing countries of more than NZ$150 million every year—money that is urgently needed to meet the health needs of people in these countries—while vastly overcharging for their products. It is estimated that New Zealand loses NZ$21 million every year.
Inequality is rampant across the global economy, and the agro-food sector is no exception. At the top, big supermarkets and other corporate food giants dominate global food markets, allowing them to squeeze value from vast supply chains that span the globe, while at the bottom the bargaining power of small-scale farmers and workers has been steadily eroded in many of the countries from which they source.
Last year saw the biggest increase in billionaires in history, one more every two days. This huge increase could have ended global extreme poverty seven times over. 82% of all wealth created in the last year went to the top 1%, and nothing went to the bottom 50%.
Dangerous, poorly paid work for the many is supporting extreme wealth for the few. Women are in the worst work, and almost all the super-rich are men. Governments must create a more equal society by prioritizing ordinary workers and small-scale food producers instead of the rich and powerful.
Climate change is already forcing people from their land and homes, and putting many more at risk of displacement in the future. Supercharged storms, more intense droughts, rising seas and other impacts of climate change all magnify existing vulnerabilities and the likelihood of displacement, disproportionately affecting low-income countries, women, children and indigenous peoples.
In 2015, the leaders of 193 governments promised to reduce inequality as part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Without reducing inequality, meeting the SDG to eliminate poverty will be impossible. Now Development Finance International and Oxfam have produced the first index to measure the commitment of governments to reducing the gap between the rich and the poor.
Big business is able to take advantage of loopholes in global tax laws and avoid tax on a massive scale. This deprives governments around the world of the money they need to tackle poverty and inequality. It means there is less for them to invest in healthcare, education and jobs.
Women’s economic empowerment could reduce poverty for everyone. In order to achieve it, we need to first fix the current broken economic model which is undermining gender equality and causing extreme economic inequality.
The neoliberal model has made it harder for women to have better quality and better paid jobs, address inequality in unpaid care work, and women’s influence and decision making power is constrained.
To achieve women’s economic empowerment, we need a human economy that works for women and men alike, and for everyone, not just the richest 1%.
The gap between the richest and the rest in Indonesia has grown faster in the past two decades than in any other country in South-East Asia. The four richest men in Indonesia now have more wealth than the poorest 100 million people. Inequality is slowing down poverty reduction, dampening economic growth and threatening social cohesion.
President Jokowi has made fighting inequality his administration’s top priority for 2017. This report shows how he could achieve this by enforcing a living wage for all workers, increasing spending on public services, and making big corporations and rich individuals pay their fair share of tax.