Australia's Rich Are Growing Their Wealth Faster Than Almost Every Other Country In The World

James PackerJames Packer. Photo: Getty / Scott Barbour

Forget the GFC. It hasn’t had an effect on the rich.

While many countries and industries are still picking themselves off the floor after the GFC hit, a new study suggests the crisis was just momentary dip in the share of global wealth held by the rich.

They have already gained it back, and more.

The combined wealth of Europe’s 10 richest people, about 217 billion Euros, exceeds the total cost of stimulus measures implemented across the European Union between 2008 and 2010, about 200 billion Euros.

In a study titled Working For The Few, released ahead of the World Economic Forum in Davos this week, charity Oxfam says the past quarter of a century has seen wealth become more concentrated in the hands of fewer people.

This global phenomenon means one per cent of the world’s families own almost half (46 per cent) the world’s wealth.

The bottom half of the global population owns less than the richest 85 people in the world.

The top 1 per cent of earners in Australia have managed to grow their share of wealth at a faster rate than all countries except the USA.

In the past year 210 people have become billionaires, joining 1,426 people with a combined net worth of $5.4 trillion.

In the US, the wealthiest one per cent captured 95 per cent of post-financial crisis growth between 2009 and 2012, while the bottom 90 per cent became poorer.

Oxfam is calling on governments to tackle inequality by cracking down on financial secrecy and tax dodging.

It says:

“Oxfam has witnessed first-hand how the wealthiest individuals and groups capture political institutions for their aggrandisement at the expense of the rest of society. Today’s unprecedented levels of economic inequality tell us that left unchecked, representative institutions will decay further, and the power disparity between the haves and have-nots may become entrenched and immutable.”

The rich get an increasing share of national income:

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