The richest 1% will soon own more than the rest of us put together

The wealthiest 1% of the world will soon own more than the rest of us, according to an Oxfam study.

They will own more than 50% of the world’s wealth by 2016, it predicts.

Over the last five years, the richest 1% grew from owning 44% of the world’s wealth to 48% in 2014.

Oxfam executive director Winnie Byanyima said governments need to adopt a plan to tackle wealth inequality – something she will be speaking about as co-chair of the World Economic Forum in Davos.

“It is time our leaders took on the powerful vested interests that stand in the way of a fairer and more prosperous world,” she said.

“Business as usual for the elite isn’t a cost free option - failure to tackle inequality will set the fight against poverty back decades. The poor are hurt twice by rising inequality - they get a smaller share of the economic pie and because extreme inequality hurts growth, there is less pie to be shared around.”

Some of the measures Oxfam is suggesting governments take up are tackling tax avoidance and introducing a living wage for workers.

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