The richest 62 people own same wealth as 3.6 billion


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Only 62 billionaires, who include nine women, own the same wealth as the poorest half of the world’s population, according to a new report by Oxfam. Their wealth now stands at $1.7 trillion which is more than the wealth of 3.6 billion people.

Mark Goldring of Oxfam said: "It is simply unacceptable that the poorest half of the world population owns no more than a small group of the global super-rich – so few, you could fit them all on a single coach.

"World leaders' concern about the escalating inequality crisis has so far not translated into concrete action to ensure that those at the bottom get their fair share of economic growth. In a world where one in nine people go to bed hungry every night we cannot afford to carry on giving the richest an ever bigger slice of the cake.

"We need to end the era of tax havens which has allowed rich individuals and multinational companies to avoid their responsibilities to society by hiding ever increasing amounts of money offshore.

"Tackling the veil of secrecy surrounding the UK's network of tax havens would be a big step towards ending extreme inequality. Three years after he made his promise to make tax dodgers 'wake up and smell the coffee', it is time for David Cameron to deliver."

Globally, it is estimated that super-rich individuals have stashed a total of $7.6 trillion in offshore accounts. If tax were paid on the income that this wealth generates, an extra $190 billion would be available to governments every year.

As much as 30 percent of all African financial wealth is estimated to be held offshore, costing an estimated $14billion in lost tax revenues every year. This is enough money to pay for healthcare for mothers and children that could save 4 million children's lives a year and employ enough teachers to get every African child into school.

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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