Sinn Féin spokesperson on Finance Pearse Doherty TD has welcomed today’s report from Oxfam, which found that billionaire wealth has grown more during the pandemic than in the previous 14 years, with Irish billionaires increasing their wealth by €18 billion.
Speaking this morning, the Donegal TD called on the Government to introduce a progressive wealth tax to address this growing inequality and provide much-needed funding to reduce child poverty, address the housing crisis and strengthen public services.
Teachta Doherty said:
“Today’s report from Oxfam in advance of the World Economic Forum in Davos once again highlights the scourge of social inequality and an economic system that is increasingly stacked in favour of those at the top.
“In Ireland, Oxfam estimates that nine billionaires increased their wealth by €16 billion since the pandemic began – a 55 percent increase while we as a society continue to face the scourge of low pay, child poverty and a housing crisis.
“This obscene accumulation of wealth is made on the backs of workers who fail to share in the value they create.
“In the age of big-tech and new technologies, we risk a form of capitalism that is even more concentrated, unequal and ruled by monopoly power and concentrations of wealth.
“This can only be combated by strengthening public services and the social safety net, strengthening workers’ rights and a fair tax system.
“According to the CSO, the top 10 percent own more than half of all wealth – this is an underestimate as no billionaire’s take part in the survey.
“Introducing a wealth tax, levied against the ultra-rich, would also help address the scourge of inequality and strengthen the public finances.
“The Government should respond to growing wealth inequality by examining options to introduce a wealth tax on the super-rich.”