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Fewer billionaires gain larger share of the pie

By Cameron Micallef · January 20 2020
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egg

Earn

Fewer billionaires gain larger share of the pie

By Cameron Micallef
January 20 2020
Reading:
egg
Fewer billionaires gain larger share of the pie

Fewer billionaires gain larger share of the pie

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By Cameron Micallef · January 20 2020
Reading:
egg
Fewer billionaires gain larger share of the pie

Australia’s rich keep getting richer, with the top 1 per cent having more than double the wealth of the bottom 50 per cent, according to Oxfam Australia.

In a statement to the 2020 World Economic Forum, Oxfam said Australia has a broken economic system that is concentrating more of the wealth in the hands of the rich and powerful.

Oxfam Australia chief executive Lyn Morgain said the top 1 per cent of Australians, just 250,000 people, owned a staggering nearly US$1.6 trillion – equating to 22.2 per cent of the nation’s wealth.

While acknowledging the number of billionaires has fallen to 36 in 2019, Ms Morgain said, “The number has more than tripled over the past 10 years, and their wealth is still increasing. The wealth of Australian billionaires, who are mostly men, grew by an average of US$460 million from 2018 to 2019.”

Global inaction

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According to Oxfam Australia, the wealthiest 1 per cent of people in the world have more than double the wealth of 6.9 billion people, while the bottom half have suffered from a decade of stagnant wage growth.

“This is not fair or sustainable. The vast gap between the few rich and many poor in the world can’t be resolved without deliberate policies aimed at tackling inequality, and too few governments are committed to implementing these – ours included,” said Ms Morgain.

The charity believes a crackdown globally on tax evasion could redress the balance, and highlighted what the Australian government could do. 

“Australia needs to introduce public country-by-country reporting of tax affairs for large multinationals as well as a public register of beneficial ownership of companies and trusts. Without this transparency, the government is potentially losing out on billions of dollars of revenue every year,” Ms Morgain explained.

The Tax Office estimated that in 2016-17, large corporations avoided paying $2 billion in taxes – the same amount as the entire National Bushfire Recovery Fund.

“It’s time to tackle inequality and climate change together. The only people who benefit from the status quo of economic inequality and weak action to cut fossil fuel emissions are a select group of companies and the super rich who run them, many of whom made their fortunes in the fossil fuel industry. These are the vested interests preventing meaningful action to tackle inequality, cut emissions and avert the worst of the climate crisis,” Ms Morgain concluded.

Fewer billionaires gain larger share of the pie
Fewer billionaires gain larger share of the pie
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About the author

Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

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About the author

Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

Join The Nest Egg community

We Translate Complicated Financial Jargon Into Easy-To-Understand Information For Australians

Your email address will be shared with nestegg and subject to our Privacy Policy

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