Oxfam Highlights Forbes Billionaires List Showing The Wealth Of The Ultra-Rich Soared During Covid-19

The wealth of Australia’s billionaires has increased at a staggering rate, says Oxfam, with the ultra-rich enjoying “a terrible pandemic” while others are dying from “economic violence”.

The charity issued a report on Monday estimating that the nation’s 47 billionaires doubled their wealth to $255 billion at a rate of $2,376 per second or more than $205 million per day during the first two years of the pandemic.

At the same time, the incomes of 99 per cent of humanity fell and more than 160 million people were forced into poverty, Oxfam said.

“That equates to more wealth held by 47 people than the bottom 30 per cent of Australians (7.7 million people),” he said.

The inequality was mirrored globally, Oxfam said, estimating that the world’s 10 richest people, all men, had more than doubled their fortunes to $1.9 trillion at a rate of $18,750 per second or $1.6 billion per day over the past few years. last two years.

“If those ten men lost 99.999 percent of their wealth tomorrow, they would still be richer than 99 percent of all the people on Earth,” he said.

“They now have six times more wealth than the 3.1 billion poorest people in the world.”

Oxfam said it used data from the 35th Forbes Billionaires List, spearheaded by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and Tesla boss Elon Musk, which indicated the number of people on that list last year was shot from 660 to an unprecedented number of 2,755.

camera iconMining heiress Gina Rinehart (pictured with Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk) has a net worth of $31.06 billion, according to AFR. richard walker Credit: News Corp Australia

According to the latest AFR Rich List, Australia’s top 10 billionaires, led by Western Australian mining magnates Gina Rinehart and Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest, have a combined net worth of more than $177 billion.

Oxfam executive director Lyn Morgain said there was an urgent need to “address the obscene ramifications of inequality”.

“The record-breaking nature of their wealth growth means that while many have reached the limit, billionaires have had a terrible pandemic,” Morgain said.

“Central banks have pumped trillions of dollars into financial markets to save the economy, but much of it has ended up lining the pockets of billionaires enjoying the stock market boom.”

Andrew Forest
camera iconThe AFR puts the country’s second-richest person and another mining titan, Andrew Forrest, at $27.25 billion. NCA NewsWire/David Swift Credit: News Corp Australia

Oxfam said the report showed “how extreme inequality is a form of economic violence, where policies and political decisions that perpetuate the wealth and power of a privileged few result in direct harm to the vast majority of people.”

“Inequality at such a rate and scale is happening by choice, not by chance,” said Ms Morgain.

“Not only have our economic structures made us all less safe in this pandemic, they are actively allowing those who are already extremely wealthy and powerful to exploit this crisis for their own gain.”


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