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As Davos Begins, Oxfam Calls For “Billionaire-Busting Policies”

At Davos, world leaders and the global elites will meet to discuss a range of issues, but on the first day of the event Oxfam is calling for higher taxes on billionaires and other policies that could change the surging costs of inequality.

Oxfam is urging governments to adopt “billionaire-busting policies ” in order to reduce global inequality. Oxfam argues that these policies, which would include higher taxes on the rich, would help to fund programs that help reduce poverty. 

“Although billionaire fortunes have fallen slightly since their peak in 2021, they remain trillions of dollars higher than before the pandemic,” Oxfam said in its report. “This crisis-driven bonanza for the super-rich has come on top of many years of dramatically growing fortunes at the top, and growing wealth inequality.”

Oxfam argues higher taxes on dividends as well as “one-off solidarity” wealth and windfall taxes should be introduced “to stop crisis profiteering”.

It added: “The eventual aim should be to go further, and to abolish billionaires altogether, as part of a fairer, more rational distribution of the world’s wealth,” it said.

Gabriela Bucher, Oxfam International’s executive director said that the number of billionaires is growing, and they’re getting richer. Oxfam is specifically calling for windfall taxes on energy companies and food companies. 

“It’s not been hard to find a world leader who has something to say about extreme inequality, but it’s been really, really hard to find any of them doing something about it,” Nabil Ahmed, Oxfam America’s director of economic justice, told MarketWatch. “We’ve really lost a decade to lip service about inequality, and the extraordinary rise in extreme inequality over the past decade — but especially over this pandemic period — reflects that lost opportunity to act.”

On Monday, the first day of Davos 2023, the London-based poverty group released a report that urged governments worldwide to adopt billionaire-busting policies. 

The report calls for governments to take steps such as introducing windfall taxes on companies making big profits due to surging inflation and end crisis profiteering by energy and food companies. 

The report also calls on economic forums such as Davos to discuss how the world can reduce global inequality and ensure that ultra-wealthy people pay their fair share. 

According to Oxfam, the world needs governments worldwide to adopt billionaire busting policies such as higher taxes on billionaires and other policies that aim to reduce global inequality. 

In its Monday report, Oxfam also called for an end to crisis profiteering by food companies that have seen their profits surge due to soaring inflation.

The group urged governments to impose higher taxes on the richest and to raise even tax rates on multimillionaires and billionaires, as well as raising overall higher tax rates for income and capital gains. 

Oxfam said this would raise enough money to fund a global plan that could lift 2 billion people out of extreme poverty. 

This includes an increase in taxes imposed by countries, such as raising the minimum rate of taxation, as well as imposing a solidarity rate of up to 5 percent on the world’s billionaires. 

The group also urged governments to take measures in combination with AP initiatives in order to combat poverty problems. 

In its report, Oxfam stated that most countries are failing to use their most important source of revenue: labor and capital income.

The global pandemic has caused profits to rise while prices remain stagnant and this has been a boon to the world’s richest people. 

According to the report, the richest 1% of the world have grabbed more than half of all new global wealth since Covid-19 started. 

This includes higher corporate profits, new wealth pumped into financial markets and public money spent on bailouts. 

The report also noted that this accelerating trend of the 1% grabbing more of the world’s wealth has been seen in rich countries and poor countries alike. 

Oxfam is urging governments to implement ‘billionaire busting’ policies, such as tax policies that would fuel a surge in public revenues.

This comes as the world’s richest people and corporate profits have hit record highs.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is estimated to have paid hardly any taxes in 2020, while Tesla boss Elon Musk has faced a true tax rate of just 3.2 percent. According to Oxfam International, these two men alone made more money than it cost Russia to host its entire war in Syria in 2019. 

The world is beset with multiple crises, from wars to the Covid-19 pandemic, and according to a US investigative news group content report, Elon Musk has paid no income taxes in 10 out of the past 15 years.
“Previous moments of global crisis have seen increases in taxation of the richest, in the spirit of solidarity,” Oxfam said. “Disappointingly, this did not happen during the peak of the pandemic. Instead, 95% of countries either did not increase, or even lowered, taxes on rich people and corporations.”

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