“We need to tax these people who took advantage of the crisis to finance the coronavirus bill”, explains on franceinfo Monday January 25 Quentin Parrinello, spokesperson for Oxfam France. In its latest report, Oxfam highlights the evolution of economic inequalities since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. This study reveals that since the first French confinement since mid-March, the cumulative fortune of the ten richest people in the world has increased by 540 billion dollars. The NGO believes that there is “two weights, two measures in ‘whatever the cost’, since this volume of money is not found in policies to protect the most vulnerable, whether in France or in developing countries “, regrets Quentin Parrinello.
>> Follow the latest information on the Covid-19 pandemic in our live.
franceinfo: Where does this money earned by billionaires come from, given that the economy is experiencing difficulties because of the epidemic?
Quentin Parrinello: We have an economy that is crossed by inequalities that existed before the crisis but where inequalities are worsening because of the crisis. And the whole message we want to convey through this report is that if billionaires have regained their level of wealth that they had before the crisis in such a short time, in barely nine months, it is not. is not thanks to the invisible hand of the market. It is because we decided to set up stimulus plans and inject hundreds of billions of dollars into the financial markets. And all we want to show is ultimately a double standard, two measures in the ‘whatever the cost’, since this volume of money, we do not find it in the policies of protection of the most vulnerable , whether in France or in developing countries.
It’s not just these stimulus packages that allow them to get richer. For example, when we talk about Jeff Bezos with Amazon, him, the policies of containment and re-containment can bring him luck?
Yes, there are billionaires who have seen their fortunes increase because their business was booming. You quoted Jeff Bezos. We can also think of Elon Musk but this is not the case for everyone. Typically, Bernard Arnault. We can think that luxury was not particularly flourishing in 2020. However, he saw his fortune increase by more than 40 billion euros in 2020. This is because there was a public intervention to protect the plummet in the financial markets and today it is benefiting. And the whole point is to say that we need his contribution to the public effort. We need to tax these people who took advantage of the crisis to finance the coronavirus bill. We really have to see the flaws in our economic model.
“We can see it clearly, there are hundreds of millions of people who are falling into poverty because of the crisis and who could remain there for more than ten years, tells us the World Bank if we do not not attack inequalities today. “Quentin Parrinello, spokesperson for Oxfam France
This means that we have an economic model that does not pay enough for trades that have their social utility. We have to put in the means not only to reinvest in essential services such as health but also to ensure that people are paid decently, that we revalue low wages and social minima to rebuild an economic model that does not benefit not just a minority, but a majority of people.
You blame the government for the stimulus plan, but this stimulus plan benefits large billionaire entrepreneurs, but also small artisans, small SMEs which, for their part, are not part of the Forbes ranking of the world’s greatest wealth?
Absolutely there is not everything that is to be thrown in this stimulus plan and in the emergency measures, let us be clear. Particularly partial unemployment. It was a good step and Oxfam underlined from the moment it was adopted and you can see how effective the adoption of a quick job protection measure has been. The problem is that partial unemployment, typically, if we take this example, it works very well when you are on a permanent contract, it works much less well when you are a precarious worker or when you are a person who is out of work. or who works in the informal economy. And the challenge today is to put the fight against inequalities and poverty back at the heart of the response. Otherwise, we will face a wave of increasing poverty. And all the signals are already there to tell us that we are facing this wave with more than 8.5% of RSA beneficiaries during the first confinement. We are with 8 million people in food aid. We are the seventh largest economy in the world. We are facing a wave of poverty and all associations fighting against precariousness are sounding the alarm. This is why we must put the fight against inequalities back at the heart of the response.