A new billionaire was created every 30 hours during the pandemic, reports Oxfam

Billionaire wealth has risen to staggering levels amid the Covid pandemic, with a new billionaire being created every 30 hours for the past two years, according to a new report from Oxfam.

On Sunday, the anti-poverty organization Oxfam published a report that found that from March 2020 to March 2022, some 573 people became new billionaires.

Meanwhile, this year alone, Oxfam expects more than 260 million people to be pushed into extreme poverty, or live on less than $1.90 (£1.51) a day, globally, a rate one million people fall into extreme poverty every 33 hours.

The COVID-19 pandemic is “poised to drive the largest systemic rise in income inequality ever seen,” according to the group.

Currently, the the 10 richest men in the world they own more wealth than the bottom 40% of humanity, or 3.1 billion people.

Lockdowns in the UK pushed nearly a million people into poverty between spring 2020 and 2021, while in the US, the Covid the related economic crisis left tens of millions of people unemployed and struggling financially.

A million people have died in the last two years from coronavirus in the US alone, a staggering loss. Black and Latino people were twice as likely to die of the virus than whites.

“It is no accident that we are seeing staggering levels of inequality in the US and around the world. It is a deliberate design,” Abby Maxman, president of Oxfam America, said in a statement.

“For decades, the ultra-rich and corporations have used their economic might to pressure those in power to write the rules so they can avoid taxes, pay poverty wages and shirk responsibility,” Maxman added. “Meanwhile, working families are feeling the edge of economic insecurity and loss of hope for the future.”

During the pandemic, the world’s 2,000+ billionaires increased their collective worth by $3.78 trillion (£3.01 trillion) or 42% in two years.

Today, the world’s billionaires have wealth equivalent to 13.9% of global Gross Domestic Product, up from 4.4% of global GDP in 2000.

Meanwhile, the cost of living crisis is gripping the UK, as inflation hits 10.9% for Britain’s poorest.

The report had one main recommendation: tax the rich. Oxfam suggested “one-off solidarity taxes” on billionaires’ wealth growth during the pandemic, as well as a permanent and progressive wealth tax of 2% on wealth over $5m (£3.98m) and 5% for wealth greater than $1 billion (£0.8 billion).

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