Richest 1% own over half the world’s wealth

“When the richest 1% own over half the world’s wealth, it should end any debate about whether income inequality is a problem." — James Clancy, NUPGE National President

Ottawa (26 Oct. 2015) — A Credit Suisse report on global wealth has confirmed that income inequality is getting worse. According to the Global Wealth Report that Credit Suisse puts out, for the first time the wealthiest 1% now own over half of the world’s household wealth.

“When the richest 1% own over half the world’s wealth, it should end any debate about whether income inequality is a problem,” said James Clancy, National President of the National Union of Public and General Employees Union (NUPGE). “Instead we need governments that will solve the problem.”

What happens in other countries affect Canada

The things that push up income inequality don’t respect national borders. A good example is tax avoidance by the wealthy. Many wealthy individuals are avoiding taxes by transferring their wealth to tax havens. While those tax havens may be hundreds or thousands of kilometres from Canada, what happens there is costing us billions in tax revenues.

This means what is happening internationally with income inequality is going to affect us, no matter how much the think tanks and lobbyists funded by large corporations and the wealthy try to pretend otherwise.

Public services, a modern industrial strategy and tax fairness key

After the Second World War income inequality was reduced with a tax system in which everyone paid their share providing the funding needed for quality public services. But the combination of lower taxes for the wealthy and cuts to public services have meant a dangerous increase in income inequality.

At the same time, the hands off approach governments took to the economy meant we lost many of the manufacturing jobs that used to provide millions of Canadians with a middle class income.

“As a first step to reducing income inequality, we have to restore the quality public services and system of tax fairness our grandparents built,” said Clancy.” said Clancy.

NUPGE

The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 360,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE

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