Renewed calls to tax the super-rich who pocket two-thirds of all new wealth

Renewed calls to tax the super-rich who pocket two-thirds of all new wealth

the super rich - Tyler Olson /

There have been renewed calls to tax the super-rich who are said to have pocketed two-thirds of all wealth created since the start of the pandemic in 2020.

OXFAM made the call on Monday, January 16 saying that immediate action is needed after the richest one per cent take all the spoils.

A report issued by the charity to coincide with the World Economic Forum in Davos said that the richest had pocketed $26 trillion (€24 trillion) in new wealth in the two years ended December 2021. By comparison, a little over $13 trillion (€12 trillion) was shared by the remaining 99 per cent of the world´s population.

The report points to a rise in extreme poverty at the same time there has been a rise in extreme wealth, which OXFAM believes requires urgent attention.

It adds that many of the policies being implemented by governments across the world to boost economies, do little to help the poor but are helpful to the rich. What´s more the rich were more likely to add to global warming emitting as much as a million times more carbon than the average person.

Danny Sriskandarajah, Chief Executive of Oxfam GB: “The current economic reality is an affront to basic human values.

“Extreme poverty is increasing for the first time in 25 years and close to a billion people are going hungry but for billionaires, every day is a bonanza.

“Multiple crises have pushed millions to the brink while our leaders fail to grasp the nettle – governments must stop acting for the vested interests of the few.

“How can we accept a system where the poorest people in many countries pay much higher tax rates than the super-rich? Governments must introduce higher taxes on the super-rich now.”

Referring to money´s corruption of politics and democracy, the report pointed to growing political polarisation as evidenced in an increasing number of countries where civil unrest is growing.

OXFAM called for a once-off wealth tax and for the permanent implementation of super taxes for the world´s richest. It also called for policies to be implemented to stop profiteering during crises like the pandemic and the cost of living.

Figures quoted by OXFAM show that:

  • Food and energy companies had more than doubled their profits in 2022. Dividends paid to shareholders exceeded $257 billion (€237 billion) at the same time 800 million went hungry.
  • A five per cent tax on the world’s richest would be enough to lift two billion, a quarter of the world´s population out of poverty and could fund a global plan to end hunger.

Colombia’s finance minister, José Antonio Ocampo, said in the foreword of the report: “Taxing the wealthiest is no longer an option – it’s a must.

“Global inequality has exploded, and there is no better way to tackle inequality than by redistributing wealth.”

He added: “Fairness is at the heart of Colombia’s tax reforms. Concretely, this means a new wealth tax, higher taxes for high-income earners and large corporations reaping extraordinary profits in international markets, and ending tax incentives that exist without clear social or environmental justification.

“We are also implementing digital services taxes and adopting a corporate minimum tax rate, building on the international tax deal.”

The renewed calls to tax the super-rich are unlikely to achieve results with competition for the money and the business of the world´s wealthiest remaining high.

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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at