Oxfam Says Governments Need To Tackles Growing Inequality

Oxfam Australia has released research which suggests that the wealthiest one per cent of Australia has more wealth than 60 per cent of the country’s population. The findings reveal that the so called ‘lucky country’ is susceptible to growing inequality that is finding its way around the world and making the fight against poverty harder.

According to an Oxfam poll 79 per cent of Australians that were surveyed believe that the distance between rich and poor in Australia has widened over the last ten years, with many expressing the opinion that growing inequality makes Australia a worse place to live.

In the report Oxfam says that the richest nine individuals in Australia are worth a combined AU$58.6 billion which is greater than the poorest 20 per cent or 4.54 million people.

Helen Szoke chief executive of Oxfam Australia said that the figures were a flagrant indication that the growing wealth gap in the country is stark and mirrors the global trend. She added that inequality needs to be addressed by all governments around the world.

Dr.Szoke said that as the current president of the G20 Australia has a big opportunity to get a grip on inequality which seems to be growing in every country in the G20 with the exception of four states.

“Tackling inequality and sharing the benefits of economic growth has been on the G20’s agenda before and it should be now, with the wealth gap ever-widening and evidence that inequality can be bad for growth itself. The Prime Minister should put inequality on the agenda for G20 leaders in Brisbane.”

One of the suggestions put forward by Dr. Szoke was that G20 governments could crack down on tax dodging by major multinational corporations, which is something that nearly 90 per cent of Australians polled said they wanted their government to take action on..

Dr Szoke said the G20 could help curb inequality by cracking down on tax dodging of multinational corporations, something that 88 per cent of Australians surveyed want the Australian Government to take action on.

At the World Economic Forum which took place at the start of the year, Oxfam released a report which suggested that nearly half of the world’s population or 3.5 billion people, had the same wealth as the richest 85 people in the world. Since that report was issued the number has dropped to just 66 people controlling more wealth than half the world’s population.

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