It's time to end extreme inequality

Ecolière devant un tableau noir dans une salle de classe de Kigali, Rwanda. Photo : Simon Rawles

Extreme inequality is hurting us all - damaging economic growth, fuelling crime, and squandering the hopes and ambitions of billions who are trapped at the bottom with no way out.

Such stark inequality is not inevitable – it is the consequence of political and economic choices. With extreme wealth comes power and influence – we’re living in a world where the rules are rigged in favour of the few and at the expense of the many.  So while the wealth of the few grows greater, the poorest are left behind.  

It doesn’t have to be this way – together we can even things up. We can change the rules on tax to make sure the richest pay their fair share.  We can demand more spending on public health and education to give the poor a fighting chance. We can demand fair wages for everyone. We can make sure the poorest have a voice, and those voices are heard by those in power.

Did you know?

  • Oxfam has calculated that in 2016 the richest 8 people on the planet owned as much as the 3.6 billion people who make up the poorest half of humanity. In other words, 1% have more wealth than the rest of the world combined.
  • In 2015, 700 million people were living in extreme poverty (below $1.90 per day).
  • Seven out of ten people live in countries where the gap between the rich and poor is worse than thirty years ago.
  • The incomes of the poorest 10% of people increased by less than $3 a year between 1988 and 2011, while the incomes of the richest 1% increased 182 times as much.
  • Corporate tax dodging costs poor countries at least $100 billion every year. Africa alone loses $14bn in tax revenues due to the super-rich using tax havens.
  • The very highest incomes are reserved almost exclusively for men. Of the 1,810 dollar billionaires on the 2016 Forbes list, 89% are men.
  • Without action, it will take 170 years to achieve equal pay between men and women.

The time is now

The world has woken up to the gap between the rich and rest. From Spain to South Africa, and Peru to Pakistan, people are already demanding a world that is fairer than this.