A bad year for inequalities. In its annual report published on Monday, the NGO Oxfam estimates that the worlds great fortunes have so far emerged unscathed or even strengthened from the pandemic. 'The worlds richest 1,000 people regained their pre-pandemic prosperity in just nine months, when it could take the poorest people more than ten years to recover from the economic impact,' argued the NGO on the opening day of the World Economic Forum (WEF), which will take place online until Friday.
According to the NGO, which relies in particular on data from Forbes and Credit Suisse, the fortunes of billionaires rose by as much as 3.9 trillion US dollars between March 18 and December 31, 2020.
In France, billionaires - including Bernard Arnault, the third largest fortune in the world after the Americans Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk - have 'earned nearly 175 billion euros' and 'exceeded their pre-crisis wealth'. . This is the third largest increase after the US and China. The corona crisis must mark a turning point in taxing the richest people and businesses. It offers us the opportunity to finally establish a fair tax system (...). This can take the form of increases in property taxes, taxes on financial transactions, and measures to eradicate tax evasion. '
Towards an increase in taxes for the richest?
Faced with this rise in inequalities, Oxfam is taking on the proposals of economists Thomas Piketty and Gabriel Zucman to raise taxes for the richest. 'The corona crisis must mark a turning point in the taxation of the richest people and companies. It offers us the opportunity to finally establish a fair tax system, to put an end to the race to the bottom and to a race to the bottom. This can take the form of an increase property tax, tax on financial transactions and measures to eliminate tax evasion are happening, 'the report said.
The NGO cites Argentina as an example, which in December passed a law introducing an extraordinary tax on large fortunes that is expected to raise around $ 3 billion to fund the fight against the effects of Covid-19. In France, where the wealth tax was abolished in 2018, the government ruled out a tax hike until the end of the five-year term in 2022 to fund their costly economic support plan.
To mark the publication of this report, Oxfam France will launch a campaign on Monday to denounce inequalities. The republican motto, diverted to 'Freedom, Inequality, Fraternity', will appear in ten cities in France, including Paris, Lyon and Lille, in front of places symbolizing the Republic.