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'World's richest 1% get 82% of the wealth' : OXFAM

The gap between the super rich and the rest of the world widened last year as wealth continued to be owned by a small minority, Oxfam has claimed.

Some 82% of money generated last year went to the richest 1% of the global population while the poorest half saw no increase at all.

It blamed tax evasion, firms' influence on policy, erosion of workers' rights, and cost cutting for the widening gap. 

Oxfam has produced similar reports for the past five years. In 2017 it calculated that the world's eight richest individuals had as much wealth as the poorest half of the world.

This year, it said 42 people now had as much wealth as the poorest half, but it revised last year's figure to 61. 

Last year, one billionaire was created every two days. This is the biggest increase in the number of billionaires in history and a whopping 82% of all of the wealth generated between the second quarter of 2016 and the corresponding period last year went to the top 1%, according to the latest survey by Oxfam. 

There are now 2,043 dollar billionaires worldwide. The wealth of this group increased by $762 billion in just 12 months and Oxfam has calculated that approximately two-thirds of that wealth is the product of inheritance, monopoly and cronyism.

On the flip side, while the poor aren't getting poorer, the bottom 50% of the global population bagged less than 1% of total wealth in 2016-2017. 

In the period between 2006 and 2015, ordinary workers saw their incomes rise by an average of just 2% a year while billionaire wealth rose almost six times faster, adds the charity.

Position of India:

India is no stranger to income inequality, but the gap is widening further. 

Last year's survey had showed that India's richest 1% held 58% of the country's total wealth, which was higher than the global figure of about 50%. 

According to the latest survey, the wealth of this elite group increased by over Rs 20.9 lakh crore during the period under review-an amount close to the total expenditure estimated in the Union Budget 2017. 

India's top 1% of the population now holds 73% of the wealth while 67 crore citizens, comprising the country's poorest half, saw their wealth rise by just 1%. 


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