Australia’s richest one per cent have grown even richer during the pandemic, according to Oxfam, prompting calls for the government to scrap proposed tax cuts for the wealthy.
A report released by the charity this week said the 200,000 people who made up the richest one percent of Australians had a combined wealth of more than $3 trillion dollars.
Oxfam said that cohort had accumulated more than $2500 a second, or $150,000 per minute for 10 years in a row. There were 11 more billionaires in Australia today than there were before the pandemic.
Oxfam Australia’s director of programs Anthea Spinks argued this was unfair at a time when most Australians were struggling with inflation, skyrocketing power bills and higher interest rates.
She said the report was proof that the “system” was “broken”.
Last year’s Census showed the median personal income in Australia was $52,338 per year.
“It is quite shocking that at a time when millions of people around the world, including here in Australia, are struggling with the cost of living, rising inflation and still coming out of the COVID crisis – that there are people who have managed to amass even more wealth,” she said.
She said the Albanese government should scrap its promised stage three tax cuts and use the money to help the poor.
“Restructuring our tax system and the model that we have can go a long way in addressing poverty and inequality,” she said.