World’s top 10 billionaires ‘could pay for global Covid vaccine’ as wealth soars

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Lockdown job losses and furloughs have seen millions pushed into poverty – but the wealth of the super-rich has soared during the coronavirus pandemic.

The fortunes of the world's 10 richest men have increased by half a trillion dollars – some £400billion – since the Covid crisis began in March 2020, according to a report from Oxfam.

The top ten on Oxfam’s super-rich list includes Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and the man behind Tesla and Space X, Elon Musk.

The charitable coalition says the £400bn those ten men have made over the past nine months could be enough to prevent a global recession if it was distributed fairly – and there would be enough left over to pay for a worldwide vaccine rollout.

While many have suffered financial losses as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the 1,000 richest people on the planet had made their money back within just nine months

Meanwhile, says Oxfam, the pandemic has ushered in the worst job crisis in over 90 years with hundreds of millions of people now on short hours or out of work altogether.

The Oxfam report has been timed to coincide with the next G20 conference – a meeting of the governments of the world's most successful economies.

But inequality is on the rise, says Oxfam, with the total wealth of the world’s billionaires reaching almost twelve trillion dollars – as much as all the G20 governments put together have budgeted for spending on pandemic recovery.

Gabriela Bucher, Executive Director of Oxfam International, said: "We stand to witness the greatest rise in inequality since records began. The deep divide between the rich and poor is proving as deadly as the virus.”

She added that women and minorities have been hardest hit by the deepening divide between rich and poor: “Women and marginalised racial and ethnic groups are bearing the brunt of this crisis.

"They are more likely to be pushed into poverty, more likely to go hungry, and more likely to be excluded from healthcare.”

The organisation is urging governments to consider new taxes on the Jutra-rich to bring some measure of balance back to the world economy.

  • Amazon
  • Elon Musk
  • Facebook
  • Money
  • Space
  • Coronavirus

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