Oxfam Warns Of Severe Income Inequality In Australia

Oxfam Australia Says The Country Needs To Do More To Fight Climate Change

Extreme inequality is perhaps the defining issue of our time and it’s getting worse. Oxfam recently made us all of aware of the problem by citing the statistic that just 62 individuals possess the same amount of wealth as the poorest half of the world. If that is not enough to shock you then you will be amazed to learn that the richest 1 per cent of the world now has more wealth than the rest of the world combined. This was widely expected to happen but this huge injustice occurred a year earlier than expected.

Wealth is not trickling down

The latest report from Oxfam titles “An Economy for the 1%” shows that instead of wealth and income trickling down it is instead being hoovered up at a disturbing rate that puts it out of reach of ordinary people. Australia too seems to be part of the trend with 10 per cent of the country’s richest people owning more wealth than all other Australians combined and Australia’s richest person having the same amount of wealth as the bottom 10 per cent of Australians.

The richest are benefitting the most

If we drill into the Australian data we find that the richest one per cent of Australians captured half the increase in wealth generated by the country over the last 15 years. This contrasts with the poorest 10 per cent of Australians who received such a small share of the overall increase that it actually rounds down to zero.

Inequality has serious consequences

Make no mistake, global inequality is a major crisis and the fact that it is reaching new extremes is bad for everyone. However the consequences of such inequality is particularly severe for the world’s poorest people. When a country has wider income inequality, it also tends to have bigger gaps between men and women in terms of health, education, labour market participation and political representation. It time that governments did something through a fair taxation policy to combat the worst effects of income inequality.

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