The report says:
- Globally, the richest individuals and companies hide trillions of dollars away from the tax man in a web of tax havens around the world. It is estimated that $21 trillion is held unrecorded and off-shore;
- In the US, years of financial deregulation directly correlates to the increase in the income share of the top one per cent which is now at its highest level since the eve of the Great Depression;
- In India, the number of billionaires increased tenfold in the past decade, aided by a highly regressive tax structure and the wealthy exploiting their government connections, while spending on the poorest remains remarkably low;
- In Europe, austerity has been imposed on the poor and middle classes under huge pressure from financial markets whose wealthy investors have benefited from state bailouts of financial institutions;
- In Africa, global corporations – particularly those in extractive industries – exploit their influence to avoid taxes and royalties, reducing the resources available to governments to fight poverty.
Oxfam is calling on those gathered at WEF to pledge to:
- Support progressive taxation and not to dodge their own taxes;
- Refrain from using their wealth to seek political favors that undermine the democratic will of their fellow citizens;
- Make public all the investments in companies and trusts for which they are the ultimate beneficial owners;
- Challenge governments to use tax revenue to provide universal healthcare, education and social protection for citizens;
- Demand a living wage in all companies they own or control;
- Challenge other members of the economic elite to join them in these pledges.
Oxfam is calling on governments to tackle inequality by cracking down on financial secrecy and tax dodging, including through the G20; investing in universal education and healthcare; and agreeing a global goal to end extreme inequality in every country as part of the post 2015 negotiations.