An Oxfam report has revealed that the 62 richest people in the world now have the same wealth as half of the planet’s population, in the same week the world’s richest people met at the World Economic Forum. This startling revelation demonstrates the trend of ever-increasing concentration of wealth in the hands of fewer and fewer people.
And many of these people tend to work in the financial sector which “accounts for one in five” billionaires. The gap between the rewards and salaries paid out to bankers, compared to the value they bring to the real economy is larger than any other. This might go some way to explaining how nearly 900 bankers in the UK were paid more than £1million last year by just four banks, flouting the European laws on bankers’ pay
The Oxfam study also found that banks were trying to rig the rules to avoid paying their fair share, stating that the ‘banking sector remains at the heart of the tax haven system’. We’ve seen this happen recently with the discovery a few weeks ago that ten major banks operating in the UK had paid no corporation tax whatsoever.
On Wednesday, the FCA - the banking regulator - tried to justify why it had cut investigations into HSBC’s illicit tax dealings and a general inquiry into banking culture. Meanwhile the government has begun to go soft on bigger banks by cutting their taxes, through removing the bank levy.
The banks think they can get away with it. But we won’t let them.
They’re scared of what we could achieve because they know it’s an idea that will help level the playing field, rewrite the rules. If enough of us call for the change that’s needed, we will win.
We can’t let things return to how they were before the crash.