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 highlights the scourge of social inequality and an economic system that is rigged in favour of those at the top.
“Globally, the Covid-19 pandemic has deepened inequalities within and between countries, with so many losing their jobs and incomes.
“Things have been very different at the top, with the wealthiest capitalising during this pandemic.
“Oxfam has found that billionaires globally increased their wealth more during this pandemic than in the previous 14 years combined.
“Closer to home, Irish billionaires have increased their wealth by €18 billion – an increase of 58 percent.
“Such obscene accumulation of wealth is made on the back of workers who fail to share in the value they create.
“Tackling social inequality, domestically and globally, must be an imperative as we emerge from the pandemic.
“This can be achieved by strengthening public services, systems of social protection, fair trade and workers’ rights.
“Introducing a wealth tax, levied against the ultra-rich, would also help address the scourge of social inequality.
“The government should respond to today’s Oxfam Report by introducing a progressive wealth tax.”