Oxfam demands inequality action as number of billionaires doubles

An Oxfam charity activist protests on the sidelines of the G7 summit in front of European Council headquarters in Brussels, on June 4, 2014British-based charity Oxfam issued a rallying cry against inequality on Wednesday with the release of its “Even it Up” report, which found that the number of billionaires had doubled worldwide since the economic crisis. The charity said the report, which is endorsed by humanitarian Graca Machel, former UN chief Kofi Annan and Nobel economist Joseph Stiglitz, was the “opening salvo” of a new campaign to force world leaders to take action. “Far from being a driver of economic growth, extreme inequality is a barrier to prosperity for most people on the planet,” said Winnie Byanyima, Oxfam International’s executive director. The report acknowledged that inequality between countries had fallen over the last 14 years, but claimed it was inequality within countries that mattered most, “as the poorest struggle to get by while their neighbours prosper”.

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