International charity Oxfam calls for a one-off solidarity tax on billionaires’ wealth so that the people suffering from price hike can get support
The Covid-19 spread had dealt a body blow on global finances and derailed many livelihoods. Still suffering the most are the common men and women on the street, as they have been left with nothing to carry on with their lives. The pandemic may have waned but the impact of devastation it leaves behind is beyond comprehension.
However, what would you do if you realise that the Covid-19 era had also created billionaires? Tune in to Oxfam, the international charity body, and it has all the minute details of how the Covid pandemic had given birth to a new billionaire every 30 hours!
This, when seen against a situation where more than a million people are being dragged into extreme poverty conditions at the same pace, calls for some introspection.
263 mn people on the verge of extreme poverty, finds Oxfam
As the World Economic Forum (WEF) returns to Davos for yet another conclave, Oxfam has made public some uncomfortable truths. At a time when 263 million people are on the verge of drowning in extreme poverty this year, that is at a rate of one million every 33 hours, there are also people who have climbed on wealth piling up immediately around them. The inflationary conditions have made livelihoods go down the drain as cost-of-living has shaped itself out into a crisis.
Going by a report quoting Oxfam, 573 people became billionaires during the pandemic, or one every 30 hours. A statement from Oxfam said that billionaires are arriving in Davos to celebrate an incredible surge in their fortunes. According to the international charity, the Covid pandemic and the hike food and energy prices have come as a fortune for the billionaires as they have made the most of it to increase their wealth manifold. At the same time, extreme poverty has grown, forcing millions of people to be pinned down by the huge leap in the cost of staying alive.
Time to tax the rich to find support for the poor
Pointing out that the time has come to tax the rich, Oxfam believes that it would be the only manner in which the less fortunate could get some support and hope of living. Calling for a one-off solidarity tax on billionaires’ amassing of wealth, the charity body stated that it would be imperative as the need now is to support the people from the onslaught of price hikes. The solidarity tax also comes as necessary to finance a fair and sustainable recovery from the pandemic that has left many livelihoods in the doldrums.
Besides, it has also called for bringing about an end to crisis profiteering, by the slapping of a temporary excess profit tax of 90 percent on the huge profits that big corporations make. Pointing out that an annual wealth tax on millionaires of two percent, and five percent for billionaires, could yield $2.52 trillion a year. This amount could be helpful in helping 2.3 billion people come out of poverty, and also to generate vaccines for the world.