(Davos) The five biggest fortunes on the planet have seen their assets double since 2020, denounces the NGO Oxfam Monday before the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, calling on States to be less influenced by the ultra-rich on tax policy.
The fortune of the five richest men in the world increased between 2020 and 2023 from $405 billion to $869 billion, and that of billionaires increased by $3,300 billion, deplores the NGO in a report, citing in particular the Amazon founder Jeff Bezos among the richest men on the planet.
Buoyed by a surge in stock prices, the ultra-rich see their financial weight grow year after year thanks to their participation in the capital of multinationals. Meanwhile, the combined wealth and income of five billion people on Earth has declined, Oxfam compares.
“By putting pressure on workers with wages that increase less quickly than inflation, by avoiding taxes, by privatizing the State and by participating greatly in global warming, big companies are widening inequalities,” writes the international organization in its report entitled Multinationals and multiple inequalities.
The World Economic Forum meeting in Davos will see more than 800 business leaders and 60 heads of state and government mingle throughout the week for conferences and informal meetings.
It is precisely this mixture between public and private interests that the NGO criticizes: “companies and their rich owners also maintain inequalities by waging a sustained and very effective tax war,” she insists.
“Across the world, members of the private sector have consistently called for lower rates, more loopholes, less transparency and other measures to allow businesses to contribute as little as possible to the coffers. the State,” she continues, citing the “hordes of lobbyists” and the “wonderful benefits” that result from them.
Since 1980, corporate tax has been more than halved within OECD member countries, falling to 23.1% in 2022, explains the NGO.
In addition to dismantling private monopolies and capping CEO pay, Oxfam is calling for a wealth tax on multimillionaires and billionaires, which could raise up to $1.8 trillion a year.