Oxfam, a UK-based charity claims that reducing income gaps and closing tax havens can reduce global poverty.
In the article “Oxfam Says World’s Rich Could End Poverty” the online news site Al Jazeera reports an interview with Jeremy Hobbs, an executive director at Oxfam.
With an income increase of 60 percent in the last 20 years, the world’s richest are depressing economic activity and making life harder for those at the bottom of the economic ladder, Hobbs exclaims. The increase in economic disparity and rise in extreme wealth is one of the obstacles to solving extreme poverty.
Poverty could have been solved four times over with the net income of the 100 richest billionaires, Hobbs Adds. Dropping the world’s richest net incomes from $240 billion to levels reported in 1990 would aid in a significant inequality decrease, an Oxfam report suggests.
Planned to coincide with the World Economic Forum in Davos, Oxfam includes ideas for a “Global New Deal” in their report which is expected to be released on Saturday. Hobbs claims that this Global New Deal would focus on the issues of tax havens and employment laws.
With currently $32 trillion stored in tax havens, closing tax havens would yield a large amount in tax revenues. Oxfam reports that if tax havens were closed, approximately $189 billion dollars would be saved.
If a fraction of the tax haven revenue was directed at global poverty aid, significant achievements could result.
It was reported by the Gates Foundation that the total amount of endowments directed at global poverty reduction as of December 2012 was approximately $36.4 billion dollars. With just 19 percent of the expected amount saved from tax haven cuts, the Gates foundation has been able to expand childhood immunization, support polio eradication, improve seeds and soil for African farmers, increase small farmer income, and support the installation of public computers in the Republic of Latvia.
With a budget of $11.7 billion dollars, only 6 percent of the expected savings from tax haven closing, UNICEF has been able to promote and advocate for children’s rights in developing countries. Some examples of UNICEF’s focus areas are child survival and development, basic education and HIV/AIDs prevention and treatment.
The U.S President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)’s budget of $6.6 billion has directly supported HIV testing and counseling for more than 46.5 million people in fiscal year 2012. Using only 3.49 percent of the expected savings from tax haven cuts, PEPFAR has been able to provide a critical entry point to prevention, treatment, and care globally.
– Danielle Doedens