Toronto – January 19, 2015 – A new report released by Oxfam, the anti-poverty charity, reveals that the richest 1% of adults in the world increased their share of the world’s total wealth from 44% in 2009 to 48% in 2014. The next 20% of the richest own 42.5% — leaving the lowest 80% owning just 5.5% of the world’s total wealth.
Oxfam's report also points out that based on current trends the richest 1% would own more than 50% of the world's wealth by 2016.
"Do we really want to live in a world where the one per cent own more than the rest of us combined?" said Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of Oxfam International. "The scale of global inequality is quite simply staggering and despite the issue rising on the global agenda, the gap between the richest and the rest is widening fast."
Oxfam is calling for a crackdown on tax avoidance by corporations and rich people, as well as increased investment in health, education, and equal pay legislation.
“The inequality gap is also a painful and unjust reality for millions of Canadian workers and their families,” says National President Paul Meinema,” and the Harper government has fed into it with tax breaks for elites and corporations that in the past 8 years have let more than $600 billion trickle up into the pockets of the corporate elite. The Harper proposal for income splitting is another break that will only benefit the rich.”
"The first step to restoring income equality is replacing the Conservatives with a new government that believes in fairness, economic equality, and a tax policy that makes everyone pay their fair share.”
A recent Canadian poll reported that a large majority of Canadians believe the government can and must do something to reduce the gap between the rich and everyone else.