5-speed listening (Income Inequality - Level 3)

Eight billionaires as rich as half the world



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The world's eight richest men have as much money as half the world. A new report from the charity Oxfam said eight billionaires are as rich as the 3.6 billion poorest people in the world. Six of the world's richest people are from the USA. The richest is Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who is worth $75 billion. Amazon and Facebook founders Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg both have wealth estimated to be around $45 billion. Oxfam's report is called 'An Economy for the 99 Per Cent'. Oxfam said: "It shows that the gap between rich and poor is far greater than had been feared." It added that businesses and the "super-rich" are creating greater income inequality by avoiding tax and paying low wages.

Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of Oxfam International, said: "It is obscene for so much wealth to be held in the hands of so few when 1 in 10 people survive on less than $2 a day. Inequality is trapping hundreds of millions in poverty." She added that: "Across the world, people are being left behind. Their wages are [not going up] yet corporate bosses take home million-dollar bonuses." She said governments only care about big business and a "wealthy elite". Economist Mark Littlewood attacked the report as being unfair. He said: "As an 'anti-poverty' charity, Oxfam seems to be strangely [obsessed] with the rich." He said Oxfam should focus on ways to boost growth instead of complaining about the rich.

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