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Eight billionaires 'own same as half the world'

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Mark Zuckerberg 32 the founder of Facebook has a net worth of $44.6 billionSTEPHEN LAM  REUTERS

In 2016, Oxfam came with a report showing the 62 richest people on the planet owned as much wealth as the bottom half of the population.

According to the report, the world's 10 biggest corporations together have revenue greater than that of the poorest 180 countries combined.

According to the report, released just hours before world and business leaders meet at 2017's World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the gap between rich and poor is far wider than had been previously detailed.

"It is trapping huge numbers of people in poverty and fracturing our societies, as seen in New Zealand in the changing profile of home ownership".

Oxfam is calling on global leaders to i mprove worldwide cooperation to stop tax dodging, action to encourage companies to act for the benefit of staff as well as shareholders, wealth taxes to fund healthcare, education and job creation, and improvements in opportunities for women.

A new wage-gap analysis by worldwide aid group Oxfam underscores the stark gap between the super-rich and everyone else.

The study is the latest in recent years by Oxfam, an global poverty-fighting group, to campaign for ways to reduce the growing gap between the rich and poor.

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According to Hindustan Times, Oxfam International executive director Winnie Byanyima, who will be attending the Davos meeting, "It is obscene for so much wealth to be held in the hands of so few when 1 in 10 people survive on less than Dollars 2 a day".

Oxfam's report shows how broken economies are funnelling wealth to the rich elite at the expense of women employed in low paid sectors.

Six of these billionaires, from Forbes' list of the world's richest people, are American entrepreneurs: Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, Berkshire Hathaway chairman and CEO Warren Buffett, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

The report also added that the incomes of the richest 1% - who own more wealth than the rest of the population since 2015 - grew by $11,800 between 1988 and 2011 while the incomes of the poorest 10% increased by just $65 in that period. However, this would only make you a top earner, not one of the world's "richest" people.

Since protesters marched in the Occupy Vancouver demonstration on October 15, 2011, wealth inequality has continued to grow. "One recent estimate is that $7.6 trillion of individual wealth - more than the combined gross domestic product (GDP) of the United Kingdom and Germany - is now held offshore", Oxfam estimated. The charity highlighted this possibility as it issued a warning against widening inequality worldwide, which it blamed in part on the super-rich.

Oxfam wants governments to reduce executive pay and tax evasion and bring in higher taxes on the rich. "In the long-term, if there's such concentration of wealth in the hands of just a few, there will be no one left to buy the goods, to keep the economy running". For example, to spend just one billion dollars, you'd need to shell out nearly $55,000 every single day for 50 years.

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