For Oxfam, the government’s response to the crisis is increasing France’s rifts

As every year, the NGO Oxfam publishes a report on global and French inequalities for 2023, from Monday 16 January to Friday 20 January, on the first day of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, which brings together international political and economic leaders. Previous publications have drawn much criticism of the NGO from economists who have highlighted many methodological biases.

This time, it seems that both French and foreign billionaires have become richer since 2020, Oxfam writes, especially based on the ranking. Forbes to account for this “The top ten French billionaires increased their wealth by 189 billion euros, which is equivalent to two years of gas, electricity and fuel bills for French families.” Saxo Bank economist Christopher Dembick makes such ratings relative. “based on shares held in the stock exchange. But this is virtual wealth that fluctuates with the market.

Occasional relief to the poor

Apart from the single billionaires, Oxfam causes the concentration of wealth in France, but is marked by a strong system of redistribution. A model is still considered effective, however “Under increasing pressure” in all public services. Oxfam blames tax cuts in Macron’s first five-year term, which would have filled the coffers less and benefited the wealthiest more.

According to the report, the return of high inflation has worsened the situation. Oxfam cites ECB estimates to explain that its impact is twice as high among the richest households. It also cites INSEE to state this “The government’s response to the crises has exacerbated inequalities by offering small one-off benefits for the most vulnerable against big tax cuts. for the wealthy. »

The impoverishment of the French

The same observation judges the NGO for the government’s late targeting of energy prices or the tariff shield on fuel subsidy. This led to the impoverishment of the French, according to Oxfam, which is a paradox “The French government has curbed inflation better than its European neighbors.” And it should be noted that “According to the OECD, France is the country with the largest decline in real incomes in the 2nd quarter of 2022”, The UN special rapporteur on human rights, Olivier De Schutter, emphasizes the increase “unpublished” Poverty in France.

Oxfam also claims that the “no matter what” benefits proportionately more, recalling austerity measures affecting households: tightening unemployment insurance payments, delaying the retirement age from 62 to 64.

The report calls for raising the minimum wage, protecting low wages from inflation and introducing targeted support for the most vulnerable. In particular, it calls for additional means to renew heat filters, with the most modest focus on investing in public transport and soft mobility to limit car dependency. Oxfam offers progressive water and energy tariffs to ensure everyone has basic access.

Consider household and business taxes

To fund all these measures, the NGO proposes the restoration of a solidarity tax on wealth, as well as a more progressive tax on the income from financial investments, the reform of the inheritance tax and the return of the “exit tax”, and the fight against the exodus of the wealthy. persons.

Corporate taxation should also be increased, the Oxfam press reported, referring to the heavy taxation of sectors that benefited from the crisis, the effective minimum tax for multinational companies is higher than the exemption and currently planned (15% of profits) and finally unitary. taxation of multinational companies with real economic activity (employees, sales, assets).

According to the NGO, all these measures can bring 60-80 billion euros of additional income per year.

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