Column: A fairer world is better for all

Patrick Meleady.  Picture: Andrew Roe
Patrick Meleady. Picture: Andrew Roe
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The recent Oxfam comparative report on wealth in the world made shocking reading, exposing the gap between the richest and the poorest as being even larger than had been previously thought.

The new data points to the fact that 3.6 billion people, who comprise the poorest people in the world, are more poverty stricken than was known, while eight men own as much wealth as the poorest half of the world’s population.

The report shows that they have a combined net worth of roughly $426 billion, or 0.16 per cent of all the world’s wealth

Mark Goldring, chief executive of Oxfam GB, states: “It is beyond grotesque that a group of men who could easily fit in a single golf buggy own more than the poorest half of humanity.”

Not surprisingly the right-leaning think tank, the Adam Smith Institute, through their spokesperson Ben Southwood sought to put a spin on these unequal stark realities by seeking to down play the disparity of wealth inequality.

A spokesman said: “It is not the wealth of the world’s rich that matters, but the welfare of the world’s poor, which is improving every year.”

He added that because the data came from the Credit Suisse, it was robust, but condemned the ‘interpretation’ of them.

Facts and figures speak for themselves , so there is no getting away from the fact that we reside in a world where wealth inequality is evident not only in regard to these eight individuals and the poorest in the world but in respect of different nations, regions and even communities.

Here in the UK, we have a higher level of income inequality in comparison to other ‘developed’ countries.

10 per cent of the population have an average net income of £9,277, and the top 10 per cent have an £83,897 net income.

With original income, the disparity between these two groups is even larger, with the bottom 10 per cent average income being £4,467, and the top 10 per cent being £107,597.

As the Equality Trust points out wealth inequalities must be eliminated for everyone’s sake. A fairer world is better for everyone.