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Rich Aussies get richer as poor stay poor

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The richest 10 per cent of Australians are getting richer, as the poor fail to make any headway in building wealth, a new Oxfam report shows.

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Australia’s richest people are getting richer while the poor remain stagnant, unable to improve their fortunes.

Oxfam has released a new report on the global distribution of wealth, showing the world’s 62 richest people now hold as much wealth as 3.6 billion of the world’s poorest combined.

And Australia hasn’t escaped the trend that’s seeing more and more wealth in the hands of fewer and fewer mega-rich individuals.

Since 2000, half of the total increase in national wealth went to the richest 10 per cent of Australians.

Almost nothing of that increased wealth flowed to the poorest 10 per cent of Australians over the same period.

Oxfam says governments across the globe, including in Australia, must do more to crack down on multinational companies who dodge tax via offshore tax havens.

The report says the result of tax avoidance is less money for welfare systems designed to support the poor.

“Australia is dragging its feet on stamping out tax dodging,” Oxfam Australia chief executive Dr Helen Szoke says.

“As a first priority, there must be an end to the dodgy tax practices and use of tax havens that allow corporations and individuals to accrue phenomenal wealth while others suffer.”

Szoke says Australian multinational companies, and those that operate here, must be required to publish the profits and taxes they pay in every country where they operate.

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