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  • Voltaire Staff

Top 5 richest men doubled their fortune since 2020: Oxfam

A picture of three ragpickers, all young boys, carrying sacks of scrap on their bag in a third world country

The world's wealthiest five men have more than doubled their fortune since 2020, said Oxfam in its annual report on Monday.

Oxfam is a British-founded confederation of 21 independent charitable organisations that focuses on the alleviation of global poverty.

Its annual report on inequality worldwide, traditionally released just before the World Economic Forum in Davos, reported a rise in wealth of five richest men from $405 billion in 2020 to $869 billion from the previous year.  Since 2020, nearly five billion people worldwide have grown poorer, it said.

Amitabh Behar, interim director of Oxfam International, told AFP, "We cannot continue with these levels of obscene inequality," adding, capitalism is at the service of the super-rich.

Despite a crisis like the COVID, which shook the world economy, the billionaires today are $3.3 trillion richer than they were in 2020., the report said

Oxfam accused the big companies of using their influence to make the gap between rich and poor bigger by paying workers less, making rich shareholders even richer, avoiding taxes, and taking control of government services.

It said these companies are like soldiers in a constant and powerful fight against fair taxes and it has serious effects.

According to Oxfam, governments gave too much control to big companies by letting them decide how much people get paid, how much food costs and even what medicines are available.

The report said that companies are trying hard to influence the government to let the corporate taxes go down, from 48 per cent in 1980 to 23.1 per cent in 2022 in certain countries. To make things fair, the body recommended a special tax on "really rich" people, arguing it could bring in $1.8 trillion each year.

It also recommended imposing a ceiling on how much top bosses can get paid and breaking up big companies with too much control.

According to the report, Amazon owner Jeff Bezos’s fortune stood at $167.4 billion, increasing by $32.7 billion since the beginning of the decade.

It also highlighted US government's suing of Amazon for wielding "monopoly power" to hike prices, degrade service for shoppers and stifle competition.

"Monopolies harm innovation and crush workers and smaller businesses. The world hasn’t forgotten how pharma monopolies deprived millions of people of COVID-19 vaccines, creating a racist vaccine apartheid, while minting a new club of billionaires," said Behar.



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