Oxfam: Super rich no help against poverty

Jan. 19, 2013 at 5:06 PM

LONDON, Jan. 19 (UPI) -- The British charity Oxfam says the world's 100 richest people are increasing inequality and holding back the world's ability to tackle poverty.

The world's 100 richest people brought in $240 billion last year, The Guardian reported Saturday. Oxfam said that amount of money could put an end to extreme poverty four times over.

In a report called "The Cost of Inequality: How Wealth and Income Extremes Hurt Us All," Oxfam calls on world leaders to curb income extremes and commit to reducing inequality to at least 1990 levels.

Extreme wealth is "economically inefficient, politically corrosive, socially divisive and environmentally destructive," said Barbara Stocking, Oxfam's chief executive.

"We can no longer pretend that the creation of wealth for a few will inevitably benefit the many -- too often the reverse is true," she said.

"We need a global new deal to reverse decades of increasing inequality. As a first step world leaders should formally commit themselves to reducing inequality to the levels seen in 1990," Stocking said.

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