Oxfam has revealed alarming statistics on the burgeoning fortunes of the world's richest, including prominent Australians like Gina Rinehart and Andrew Forrest. 

The group’s new report describes a deepening wealth gap that has become a significant point of concern, especially as the world grapples with economic crises.

According to the Oxfam report (PDF), the combined wealth of the world's five richest men has more than doubled since 2020, reaching a colossal US$869 billion (AU$1.2 trillion). 

The list includes high-profile tech moguls such as Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, and Jeff Bezos. 

In a striking example of this wealth, if these individuals spent US$1 million daily, it would take them 476 years to exhaust their fortunes.

The report also sheds light on the wealth of Australia's richest, noting that Gina Rinehart, Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest, and Harry Triguboff have seen their wealth double at an extraordinary rate of $1.5 million per hour.

This increase occurs against a backdrop where nearly five billion people globally are experiencing declining wealth.

Billionaires worldwide have collectively grown US$3.3 trillion (AU$4.9 trillion) richer since 2020, a period marked by numerous global challenges, including the coronavirus pandemic. 

In stark contrast, a female worker in the health and social sector would need to work 1,200 years to earn what a CEO of a top Fortune 100 company makes in a single year.

The report highlights the significant influence of corporate power in driving inequality.
It accuses large corporations of engaging in a “war on taxation”, resulting in a significant drop in corporate tax rates from 48 per cent in 1980 to 23.1 per cent in 2022 in OECD countries. 

This trend, Oxfam argues, has allowed corporations to amass wealth and power at the expense of wider society.

Oxfam's findings suggest that government policies have often facilitated this growing divide, with states increasingly ceding power to corporate monopolies. This shift affects various aspects of everyday life, including wages, food prices, and access to medicines.

To address these disparities, Oxfam advocates for a wealth tax on millionaires and billionaires, which could potentially generate US$1.8 trillion annually. 

The charity also suggests capping CEO pay and breaking up private monopolies as steps towards a more equitable world.