Tax wealth more to fight growing inequality: Oxfam Novib
To combat inequality in the Netherlands and the world, governments must raise tax rates for the richest people inequality. Oxfam Novib reached that conclusion in its inequality report published in the run-up to the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, this week. Billionaires’ wealth is increasing by billions a day, while worldwide wages are lagging behind the sharply increased inflation, according to the development organization.
The organization hopes to stimulate a “critical debate” with the report during the summit, but also in the Netherlands. According to Oxfam Novib, global billionaires’ wealth is growing by 2.7 billion US dollars (about 2.5 billion euros) per day. At the same time, 820 million people are starving, and wages are not rising in line with inflation. “Right now, billions of people are struggling with rising energy and food prices. Something needs to be done quickly to address this scandalous trend of global economic inequality that has been disrupting our societies for decades,” said Oxfam Novib general manager Michiel Servaes.
That inequality is also present in the Netherlands, Servaes said. “The richest 1 percent owns 26 percent of the total Dutch wealth. At the same time, the richest people pay relatively less tax than the rest of the Netherlands.” He, therefore, believes that tackling inequality and taxing wealth more heavily should become a “spearhead” of policy in the Netherlands. By tackling “extreme wealth” and distributing it more fairly, more people can escape poverty, Servaes said.
In the run-up to the World Economic Forum, which starts on Monday, Oxfam Novib called on governments worldwide to take action. It wants a tax rate of at least 60 percent on the highest incomes. Governments should focus on taxing wealth. According to the organization, relatively low tax rates still apply to wealth, also in the Netherlands.
Oxfam Novib believes that the tax revenue should then go to causes that combat inequality. For example, invest it in education, food security, and improving access to healthcare.
The World Economic Forum brings together top politicians, business people, and journalists from around the world to discuss topics related to the economy, health, climate, and environment. Prime Minister Mark Rutte and six other Cabinet members will attend the conference.