Ireland’s nine billionaires saw their collective fortunes rise by €3.28 billion last year despite the deepest global recession in decades, Oxfam has highlighted in a report ahead of the World Economic Forum’s virtual Davos Agenda event.
One-tenth of the additional wealth (€300 million) would pay for a Covid-19 vaccine for every person in the Republic, the aid agency said.
It said the Irish figures mirrored a worrying trend internationally towards greater inequality, one that has accelerated in the last decade and was likely to get worse under Covid.
It said the world’s 1,000 richest people had recouped their Covid-19 losses within just nine months, while it could take more than a decade for the world’s poorest to recover economically from the pandemic.
One of the most extreme indicators of inequality right now, Oxfam said, “was between those who have access to a life-saving vaccine and those who don’t”.