A new report from Oxfam indicates that Irish billionaires have seen their wealth rise by €3.3 billion since the pandemic started.
The Inequality Virus report also shows that the wealth of the planet’s ten richest men has grown by half a trillion dollars since Covid-19 brought the world to a standstill.
Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg and many more have all seen their fortunes increase since the pandemic started while millions around the world continue to struggle.
The top 1,000 have lost money during the pandemic but have recuperated the funds within nine months.
Oxfam suggest it could take up to 10 years for the poorest people in the world to recover from the impact of Covid-19.
Jim Clarken, the Chief Executive of Oxfam Ireland said “In Ireland, the fallout of the pandemic on employment has disproportionately hit young adults as well as people in low-paid occupations, all of whom are more likely to be paying rent.”
“Without significant government intervention, we are looking at a return to long-term unemployment, increasing risks of homelessness and economic insecurity for younger generations in Ireland.”
Clarken noted the wealthiest people in the world are managing the pandemic quite safely while frontline workers are struggling to keep up with bills and put food on the table as well as not receiving benefits such as sick pay leave etc.
The report also shows that the pandemic is worse for women and is widening the gender inequality.
“Let’s remember that 70% of care work, essential work and low paid work in the Irish economy, and similarly across the world, is carried out by women who are in more precarious work, and who don’t have the benefits that one would expect from higher paid jobs. It is having a specific impact on women across the globe.”
“Long before Covid-19 disrupted our lives, in Ireland and across the world, women sustained our societies through their paid and unpaid care work.”
“However, there is a lack of attention to gender equality in much of the economic decision making that has taken place since the onset of the pandemic.”
The full report can be accessed here.
As well as addressing the issue of Irish billionaires, Oxfam have also called for a global ‘People’s Vaccine’ to ensure everyone around the world is vaccinated against Covid-19.
“We now know that many countries are hoarding vaccines, and the amount of vaccine that has been created so far has been largely managed or held by the richest part of the world.”
He went on to add “…people’s vaccine whereby the intellectual property and the ability to generate the vaccines, which are an amazing development, should be shared and pooled so that generic companies in developing countries should also be able to access that technology so that we can give vaccines to everybody this year”.