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Tax havens rob the world’s poor, says Oxfam

Wednesday, 20 January 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Author: Hanna Ziady
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Author: Hanna Ziady (Moneyweb) 

Anti-poverty organisation takes its cause to Davos.

Tax havens are costing the world’s poor trillions of dollars, according to global anti-poverty body, Oxfam, which finds that the richest 1% now have more wealth than the rest of the world combined and frequently engage in the kind of "wealth management” that includes tax avoidance.

In its report An economy for the 1%, released on Monday, the organisation finds that a global network of tax havens enables the world’s über wealthy to "hide” as much as $7.6 trillion.

This industry has been granted legitimacy by the "dominant market fundamentalist world view that low taxes for rich individuals and companies are necessary to spur economic growth and are somehow good news for us all”, Oxfam notes.

"The system is maintained by a highly paid, industrious bevy of professionals in the private banking, legal, accounting and investment industries,” says Oxfam.

Tax havens lead to an outflow of wealth that would otherwise put countries in a position to finance interventions proven to help reduce inequality, according to Oxfam South Africa research and policy lead, Ronald Wasso.

"There are a number of proven interventions that work against inequality, including a national minimum wage and free basic services for the poor,” Wasso told journalists at a briefing in Johannesburg on Monday.

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