Oxfam highlight inequality

A report produced by Oxfam today (An Economy for the 99%, 16th January), has sparked calls for greater state-led investment in the Irish economy.

Reacting to the Oxfam report, Cllr. Éilis Ryan (Workers’ Party, North Inner City), said: “The World Economic Forum and World Bank have repeatedly paid lip service to the need to reduce global inequality – and nothing has been done. In reality, these organisations explicitly defend the wealth and rights of the worlds’ rich, and it is pointless expecting them to tackle the problem of inequality.

“Instead we need bold, state-led action to take our economy, and the wealth workers produce, out of the hands of big business entirely.” Cllr. Ryan said that as long as wealth is controlled amongst a tiny group of private individuals and companies, it is impossible for Ireland to build an economy of equals. “In 2015, TASC showed that the top 5% in Ireland hold almost 40% of the net wealth in Ireland. This means that funding that is so badly needed to invest in an economy that works for workers, is instead being used to prop up the richest.”

“If we want democratic control over where wealth ends up, we need to democratic control of the wealth in the first place. This means ending the free ride given to big business in the form of tax breaks and subsidies – and instead putting that money towards productive state enterprises, to create wealth and jobs which we, the people, control.”, said Cllr. Ryan.