Charity Claims 1% Of Ireland’s Population Owns 27% Of The Wealth

A report from the charity Oxfam has found that the wealthiest 1% of Irish society now owns more than a quarter of the country’s wealth.

According to Irish state broadcaster RTÉ:

The research also shows that with €15 billion between them, the two richest people here have 50% more wealth than the poorest half of the population.

In total the study, based on data collated from Forbes, Credit Suisse and Wealth-X, found eight Irish people are worth over a billion euro, down one from last year.

But 1,435 individuals in Ireland are worth over €47m while 20,575 own over € 4.7 million.

Over the last decade, the numbers in both those categories has more than doubled, the analysis finds, as wealth creation here grows.

Laying out how new wealth is distributed, the study claims that for every $100 or €93 of wealth created in Ireland over the past decade, a third has gone to the richest 1% and less than 50c to the bottom 50%.

The richest 1% have therefore gained 70 times more wealth than the bottom 50% in the last 10 years, Oxfam states.

The top 10% of the population now owns nearly two thirds of the wealth, totalling €547 billion, but the bottom 50% of Irish society owns only 1% of wealth.

“This rising wealth at the top and rising poverty for the rest are two sides of the same coin, proof that our economic system is functioning exactly how the rich and powerful designed it to,” said Jim Clarken, chief executive of Oxfam Ireland.

“As crisis after crisis hits the poorest people hardest, it’s time for Governments, including Ireland’s, to tax the rich.”

“The very existence of billionaires while out-of-control inequality rises, is damning proof of policy failure.”

Overall the international report, released to coincide with the start of the annual gathering of the global elite at the World Economic Forum in Davos, finds that for the first time in a quarter of a century, the rich are getting richer while at the same time the poor are getting poorer.

Indeed the study entitled “Survival of the Richest” claims that over the past two years, the richest 1% of the world’s population have acquired nearly twice as much wealth as the rest of humanity put together.


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