-NEW IRISH RICH LIST SHOULD BE HEADLINE NEWS – OBSCENE WEALTH FIGURE SHOULD PROVOKE A NATIONAL DEBATE ABOUT WEALTH INEQUALITY AND THE NECESSITY OF A WEALTH TAX AND HIGHER CORPORATE TAXES.
-WEALTHIEST 300 PEOPLE HAVE €77 BILLION – WHILE OVER A MILLION SUFFER DEPRIVATION AND HOUSING & HEALTH CRISIS SPIRAL OUT OF CONTROL.
In a statement, Richard Boyd Barrett, People Before Profit TD has described as “scandalous and obscene”, the figures for the wealth of Ireland’s richest 300 people, revealed today in the latest Sunday Times Rich-list.
The latest Irish Rich-list shows that Ireland’s super wealthy elite, with a combined wealth of €77 billion, are richer than ever before and that their wealth has surpassed that of the Celtic Tiger era.
Deputy Boyd Barrett said it was “utterly disgusting that such a small number of people in Ireland should enjoy such wealth, while over one million people in Ireland suffer deprivation and the housing and health crises spiral out of control.”
Deputy Boyd Barrett said it was difficult to understand how such revelations about the extent of wealth concentration and inequality in Ireland were not headline news and called for a national debate on wealth inequality Ireland and for the introduction of a wealth tax and higher corporate taxes.
As a member of the Dail budget committee, Deputy Boyd Barrett has called on many occasions for the committee to look at the issue of wealth inequality in Ireland and will renew his call for the committee to do so, this week.
Richard Boyd Barrett said:
“These figures showing the enormous and dramatically increased wealth of Ireland’s multi-millionaires and billionaires are truly scandalous and obscene. When you consider the extent of poverty, deprivation, homelessness and unnecessary hardship being suffered by so many in this country, it is utterly scandalous to learn that just 300 people have enough wealth to solve all those problems, ten times over.
This new rich-list, once again, reveals Ireland’s dirty little secret: All the poverty, homelessness and suffering we witness day in, day out, is not necessary but is, actually, the product of the sickening and growing inequality in the distribution of wealth in this country. The flip side of the coin of children sleeping in emergency homeless accommodation or sick people waiting years for vital operations is an ever wealthier elite, who profit in the midst of this misery and pay little or no tax.
If even ten per cent of the wealth of the richest 300 people was re-distributed through the tax system, it would solve all the problems of poverty, homelessness in this country and provide the desperately needed funding for our health service and other vital public services.
It is simply incredible that figures showing such an obscene level of wealth inequality are not headline news. These figures should prompt an immediate national debate about wealth inequality in Ireland and the need for a wealth tax and higher taxes on profits -something People Before Profit have been calling for, for years.”