In reaction to the Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report, published today, Oxfam's Head of Advocacy Katy Chakrabortty, said:  

"This report highlights the huge gulf between the haves and the have nots - the world’s richest one percent own more than everyone else combined while the poorest half of the population share less than a penny of every pound of wealth. 

"In the UK, the wealthiest one percent have seen their share increase to nearly a quarter of all the country's wealth, while the poorest half have less than 5 per cent. This divide matters hugely at a time when millions of people across the UK face a daily struggle to make ends meet and the numbers living in poverty are the highest for almost 20 years. 

“The recent Paradise Papers revelations laid bare one of the main drivers of inequality – tax dodging by rich individuals and multinationals. Governments should act to tackle extreme inequality that is undermining economies around the world, dividing societies and making it harder than ever for the poorest to improve their lives. 

"In the UK, the Chancellor should use next week's Budget to prioritise tough action to tackle tax avoidance to help provide funds to fight poverty in both the UK and developing countries."

Ends


Notes:


Oxfam has set out five steps the Government needs to take to end tax scandals like the Paradise Papers to help ensure that countries rich and poor don't lose vital funds: 
https://www.oxfam.org.uk/media-centre/press-releases/2017/11/five-steps-the-uk-government-should-take-to-end-tax-scandals

The Credit Suisse report shows that the world's richest one percent

Coins in the hand

Coins in the hand

Image by Marco Verch

, an increase from 45 percent in 2000, while the poorest 50 percent own just over 0.5 percent. It also shows that the share of wealth owned by the UK's richest one percent increased from 23.47 percent to 24.33 percent between Q2 2016 and Q2 2017, while the bottom 50 percent of the UK population own just 4 percent of the nation's wealth. Even when you exclude anyone with negative wealth from the poorest 50 percent, such as those in debt or people with a mortgage, the amount of UK wealth they own is still just 4.9 percent - shockingly low.

Last week the London School of Economics published an Oxfam commissioned report, Double Trouble: A review of the relationship between UK poverty and economic inequality.It shows a positive correlation between income inequality and income poverty in the UK can be clearly established. Statistical analysis found that, on average, during the last 50 years a one point increase in income inequality - as measured using the Gini coefficient – was associated with an increase in relative poverty of 0.6 percentage points. https://policy-practice.oxfam.org.uk/publications/double-trouble-a-review-of-the-relationship-between-uk-poverty-and-economic-ine-620373

The UK government's annual poverty figures, the Households Below Average Incomes (HBAI) statistics, published in March, stated that 14 million people were living in poverty in the UK in 2015/16, looking at relative low incomes after housing costs. This is the highest figure since 1996/7 and an increase of 1 million people since the start of the decade. According to the statistics an individual is in relative low income (or relative poverty) if they are living in a household with income below 60% of median household income. 
https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/households-below-average-income-199495-to-201516)

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