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Billionaire bonanza

More than 260 million people could be plunged into extreme poverty this year because of skyrocketing inflation while hundreds have become billionaires whose cumulative wealth rose 30 percent, according to Oxfam International.

In a report published on Monday, the first day of the World Economic Forum summit in Davos, Switzerland, the Oxfam report was picked up by major news outlets around the planet. A new billionaire emerged every 30 hours during the Covid-19 pandemic, and nearly a million could fall into extreme poverty at around the same rate in 2022. This is the trickle down effect of free market fundamentalism and monopoly capitalism.

There were 573 more billionaires in the world by March 2022 than in 2020, when the pandemic began, that equates to one new billionaire every 30 hours, Oxfam said.

On top of that, it estimated that 263 million people could be pushed into extreme levels of poverty in 2022 because of the pandemic, growing global inequality and rising food prices. That’s the equivalent of nearly a million people every 33 hours.

Oxfam called for an annual wealth tax starting at 2% on millionaires and 5% on billionaires could generate $2.52 trillion a year. “That would be enough to lift 2.3 billion people out of poverty, make enough vaccines for the global population, as well as deliver universal health care and social protection for those living in low and lower-middle income countries.”

Workers Party calls for Corona Tax on the extremely wealthy

In the middle of the pandemic the Workers Party called for a Corona Wealth Tax to tackle the looming crisis that is now sinking its teeth into our poorest families. A one-off 5% tax on the richest individuals alone would see the 4,640 richest people in our society contribute more than £17 billion to the Treasury – money that could be spent on proper jobs, decent pay, renewed infrastructure, social housing and frontline healthcare.

The rate at which inequality is rising is totally unacceptable – a few members of the super-rich elite are sitting on untold wealth, even as thousands of workers in Britain are being plunged into absolute poverty and destitution by unemployment and homelessness.

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