Oxfam report: 82% of global wealth goes to richest 1%

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LONDON Four out of every five dollars of wealth generated in 2017 ended up in the pockets of the richest 1 per cent, while the poorest half of humanity got nothing, says a report published by Oxfam yesterday.

As global political and business leaders gather for this week's World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, the charity's report highlights a global system that rewards the super rich and neglects the poor.

It found that 3.7 billion people who make up the poorest half of the world saw no increase in their wealth in 2017, while 82 per cent of the wealth generated last year went to the richest 1 per cent.

"(It) reveals how our economies are rewarding wealth rather than the hard work of millions of people," said Ms Winnie Byanyima, Oxfam's executive director. "The few at the top get richer and richer and the millions at the bottom are trapped in poverty wages."

She blamed "tax dodging" as a major cause of global inequality and urged leaders to clamp down on tax havens.

In particular, she criticised US President Donald Trump, who is attending the WEF, for creating "a cabinet of billionaires" and implementing tax legislation that she said rewarded the super rich.

The annual report by Oxfam found that in the US, the three richest people own the same wealth as the poorest half of the population.

"The economic model is not working," said the co-author of the report, Mr Inigo Macias Aymar. "We are worried (about how wealth is being distributed). It is being concentrated in fewer hands." - REUTERS