Eighty peo­ple with Ox­fam’s M385b

Lesotho Times - - Business -

PARIS –– Wealth ac­cu­mu­lated by the rich­est 1 per­cent will ex­ceed that of the other 99 per­cent in 2016, the Ox­fam char­ity said Mon­day, ahead of the an­nual meet­ing of the world’s most pow­er­ful at Davos, Switzer­land.

“The scale of global in­equal­ity is quite sim­ply stag­ger­ing and de­spite the is­sues shoot­ing up the global agenda, the gap be­tween the rich­est and the rest is widen­ing fast,” Ox­fam ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Win­nie Byany­ima said.

The share of global wealth of the rich­est 1 per­cent in­creased from 44 per­cent in 2009 to 48 per­cent in 2014, the Bri­tish char­ity said in a re­port, adding that it will be more that 50 per­cent in 2016.

The av­er­age wealth per adult in this group is $2.7 mil­lion, Ox­fam said.

Of the re­main­ing 52 per­cent, al­most all –– 46 per­cent –– is owned by the rest of the rich­est fifth of the world’s pop­u­la­tion, leav­ing the other 80 per­cent to share just 5.5 per­cent with an av­er­age wealth of $3 851 per adult, the re­port says.

Byany­ima, who is to co-chair at the Davos World Eco­nomic Fo­rum tak­ing place Wed­nes­day through Fri­day, urged lead­ers to take on “vested in­ter­ests that stand in the way of a fairer and more pros­per­ous world.”

Call to tackle tax eva­sion Ox­fam called upon states to tackle tax eva­sion, im­prove pub­lic ser­vices, tax cap­i­tal rather than labour, and in­tro­duce liv­ing min­i­mum wages, among other mea­sures, in a bid to en­sure a more eq­ui­table dis­tri­bu­tion of wealth. Share of global wealth of the top 1 per­cent and bot­tom 99 per­cent re­spec­tively; Credit Suisse data available 2000–2014:

The 45th World Eco­nomic Fo­rum that runs from Wed­nes­day to Satur­day will draw a record num­ber of par­tic­i­pants this year with more than 300 heads of state and gov­ern­ment at­tend­ing.

Ris­ing in­equal­ity will be com­pet­ing with other global crises in­clud­ing ter­ror­ist threats in Europe, the worst post-cold War stand-off be­tween Russia and the West and re­newed fears of fi­nan­cial tur­moil.

Beyond geopo­lit­i­cal crises, hot-but­ton is­sues like the Ebola epi­demic, the chal­lenges posed by plung­ing oil prices and the fu­ture of tech­nol­ogy will also be ad­dressed at the posh Swiss ski re­sort. –– Ox­fam

Warren Buffett's wealth in­creased by nine per­cent in a year from $53.5 bil­lion in 2013 to $58.2 bil­lion in 2014.

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