Reward work, not wealth - Oxfam Inequality Report


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Reward work, not wealth - Oxfam Inequality Report

  January 2018 / Fabienne Burkhalter, Assistant Quality Assurance and Poverty Reduction Section, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)

The report looks at the topic from different perspectives. A few insights:

  • The report points out that extreme wealth benefits a few and thus increases inequality. 82% of all of the growth in global wealth in the last year went to the top 1%, whereas the bottom 50% saw no increase at all. For someone in the bottom 10%, their average annual income has risen less than $3 in a quarter of a century.


  • It states that the number of people living in extreme poverty (i.e. on less than $1.90 a day) halved between 1990 and 2010 and further declines. However, another 200 million people could have been lifted out poverty if inequality within countries had not grown.


  • Estimates by the International Labour Organization (ILO) show that even if people have a job, they might not be able to escape poverty. Almost one in three workers in emerging and developing countries live in poverty, 40 million are enslaved (4 million of those are children).

  • Inequality's rise goes hand in hand with serious threats to civic freedoms, shrinking space for civil society and attacks against union members. This is due to the ability of powerful private interests to manipulate public policy and laws to entrench existing monopolies.


  • Oxfam demands a new human economy, one that is created by women and men together, for the benefit of everyone and not just a privileged few.


  • The report offers recommendations on how to design economies to be more equal and use taxation and public spending to redistribute and create a greater fairness.


To access the report visit:

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