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The richest 26 people are equal to the poorest 3.8 billion people

The latest report released by the international charity Oxfam on Monday showed that the world's 26 richest people have the same wealth as the world's poorest half of the population (3.8 billion people), and the richest 43 people in 2017.

According to the charity survey, in 2018, the wealth of global billionaires increased by $2.5 billion a day, a 12% increase for the whole year, while the wealth of the world's poorest half fell by 11%.

The report, entitled “Public Wealth or Private Wealth”, was released when delegates gathered in Davos, Switzerland, to participate in the World Economic Forum.

Call for global tax reform

Oxfam urges governments to increase the tax rate of businesses and the wealthiest to narrow the gap between the rich and the poor.

The report pointed out that the shortage of public service investment by governments, the "insufficient taxation of enterprises and the rich", and the ineffectiveness of combating tax evasion have contributed to inequality.

Although a new billionaire is born every two days on average, Oxfam says the tax rate applicable to these people has fallen to its lowest level in decades.

According to the report, if the tax rate on the wealth of the world's richest 1% is increased by 0.5%, the funds raised will be sufficient to educate 262 million children and provide health care that can save 3.3 million lives.

However, Oxfam said that such taxation for billionaires is being reduced or eliminated in rich countries, but not in developing countries. The corporate tax rate in rich countries fell from 62% in 1970 to 38% in 2013, and the average tax rate in poor countries is currently 28%.

Oxfam also pointed out that in some countries, such as Brazil, the income tax rate of the poorest 10% is even higher than the richest 10%.

But Kate Andrews, deputy director of the Institute of Economic Affairs, believes that Oxfam's report "excessive attention to the rich" fails to provide an effective solution to reduce inequality.

She said in a statement on Monday: "If the most important goal is to end world poverty, then Oxfam should explain the reasons for establishing a correct domestic and international framework that should allow the free market to flourish and be able to resolve Corruption issues."

“On the contrary, they advocate breaking the bottom line to the bottom of the competition, and its recommended intervention policy is more likely to destroy wealth than to successfully redistribute wealth.”


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