The extreme gap between rich and poor is undermining the fight against poverty, damaging economies around the globe and fuelling public anger and unrest. And that gap is growing.
Our latest inequality report, “Public Good or Private Wealth” reveals that the wealth of the world’s billionaires increased by 12 percent or almost $3.5 billion AUD a day last year. At the same time the poorest half of humanity saw their wealth shrink by 11 percent, a burden disproportionately carried by women and girls.
Who pays the price for inequality?
While women’s work is the bedrock of our economies, they do not see the benefits. Globally men earn 23 percent more than women and own 50 percent more wealth. When essential public services like education and healthcare are neglected it’s poor women and girls who suffer most and spend countless hours caring for children, the sick and elderly. The unpaid work done by women each year is estimated to be worth $10 trillion – 43 times the annual turnover of Apple.
The size of your bank account should not dictate how many years your children spend in school, or how long you live – yet this is the reality in too many countries across the globe. While corporations and the super-rich enjoy low tax bills, millions of girls are denied a decent education and women are dying for lack of maternity care.”
– Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of Oxfam International
What can we do to address inequality?
This report shows that globally governments can exacerbate inequality by underfunding critical public services like schools and hospitals, whilst setting the lowest tax rates for companies and the super-rich have seen in decades.
Just like in Australia, developing countries need tax revenue to pay for essential public services like healthcare, education and clean water for everyone. But when corporations don’t pay their fair share of tax, they make it much harder for developing countries to build stronger and healthier communities.
Tax avoidance is reprehensible but these companies are not necessarily breaking any laws. That’s why we are asking the Australian government to change the rules, making it harder for companies to avoid paying the taxes they owe.
When multinationals contribute their fair share of tax, people living in poverty have a better chance to build a better future – for themselves and their families. It would be small change for rich multinationals but it would make a big difference for people in the world’s poorest places. The Australian Government has the power to make multinationals pay tax and help prevent extreme inequality from spiralling out of control.
Sign the petition and demand that governments act to stop tax dodging. It’s time to Make Tax Fair.