Inequality and poverty

Across the world, the gap between the rich and the rest is growing faster than ever. And this increasingly extreme inequality is destabilising economies, damaging societies and pushing more people into poverty.

How can we tackle inequality?

With extreme wealth comes the power to influence the rules. That means that we end up with government policies that favour the super rich, regardless of what would work best for the rest of us. These policies decrease social mobility, increase poverty and create economic instability (as we saw with the recent financial crisis). So extreme inequality isn't just unfair - it's downright dangerous. 

What are the major challenges?

The undue political influence of multinational companies and some super-rich individuals is at the heart of the biggest social, economic and environmental crises we face, both in the UK and globally. The good news is that it's not inevitable, it can be reversed, and we've all got a role to play in making that happen.

  • The super rich using tax havens to avoid paying their fair share
  • Governments propping up the banks while cutting essential public services
  • Low wages, unstable jobs, zero hours contracts
  • Allowing polluting industries to obstruct a global response to climate change

What can we do to rebalance our world? 

Extreme inequality is not natural or inevitable - it's the consequence of political choices. Governments worldwide have the option of implementing policies that can start narrowing the gap right now. We need governments to act to give us a system which works for the many, and not just for the hugely privileged few.

  • Implement progressive taxation policies which close tax avoidance loopholes
  • Investment in essential public services, like free healthcare and education
  • Legislate for a legal minimum wage which is also a living wage
  • Stop subsidies to fossil fuel companies and limit their lobbying power

Keep up-to-date

Read our blog posts on inequality below, follow @oxfamcampaigns, and like our Facebook page to get involved in the campaign.

The latest blogs on inequality and poverty

World Food Day

Today is designated World Food Day by the United Nations. It's a time to recognise that despite living in a world that produces enough food for everyone, 1 in 8 people still go to bed hungry.


Mae Kirsty Davies, pennaeth Oxfam Cymru, yn son am anhafaledd.

When inequality went mainstream

 Kirsty Davies, head of Oxfam Cymru, blogs about inequality.

The inequality of crises

Whether it is hidden or visible, it is through crises that inequality can become the most apparent. As a part of Blog Action Day, Ed Cairns looks at how disasters hit the marginalised the hardest and how there is a strong relationship between inequality... Read more

World Food Day & Blog Action Day 2014

As the 16th of October is both World Food Day and Blog Action Day this blog post is going to consider global inequality in relation to food and nutrition.