Responding to reports that the 2017 Forbes’ billionaires list reveals a record 233 new billionaires, Oxfam Australia’s Head of Public Policy and Advocacy Rachel Ball said:
“Once again we are seeing another shocking statistic emerge, highlighting inequality occurring on a scale the likes of which we’ve not seen before.
“Earlier this year Oxfam revealed just eight billionaires own the same amount of wealth as the poorest 3.6 billion people.
“That a record number of new billionaires – an additional 233 according to Forbes’ annual list – were created in the past year alone is part of an economic model that leads to more unequal societies that trap millions of people in poverty.
“It allows an elite group to accrue extreme wealth while one in nine people go to bed hungry every night.
“Australia is not immune from this inequality crisis – Oxfam analysis shows that the richest 1 per cent own more than the poorest 70 per cent, while our two wealthiest billionaires have the same wealth as the bottom 20 per cent of the country.
“The Australian Government needs to take action now to end the race to the bottom on corporate tax rates and ensure that multinationals operating in Australia pay their fair share of tax and publish their profits, taxes and assets for every country in which they operate.”
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