32 of the world’s largest multinationals are projected to increase their profits by $ 109 billion by 2020 over previous years. So says Oxfam in a new report, “Power, Profits and the Pandemic”. “The coronavirus was certainly not the big compensation, and the crisis makes it all the more clear that the current economic system puts the profit of a small elite above everything and everyone,” it says.
According to Oxfam, 32 of the largest companies in the world are taking advantage of the crisis to make even more profits. These are the technology giants Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon, but also pharmaceutical companies like Johnson & Johnson, Roche and Merck as well as food and beverage companies like Walmart and Nestlé.
“In contrast to the financial crisis, which has also affected the largest companies, the corona crisis appears to be accelerating a worrying economic trend – namely the concentration of economic power in the hands of a few ever larger companies. This undermines the level playing field between companies and will only widen the existing inequalities, ”says Maaike Vanmeerhaeghe, Political Officer Inequality at Oxfam.
Profit for the shareholders
The investigation must show that the 32 multinationals are expected to distribute 88 percent of their surplus profits to their shareholders. “Instead of paying a fair tax contribution or redistributing profits among employees, profits are all too often reserved for a small elite,” analyzes Oxfam.
In order to rebalance the economy, the NGO is demanding that support for workers and small businesses be a priority. “A reform agenda must ensure that the largest companies pay a fair tax contribution by introducing a minimum tax that obliges companies to pay taxes where they make profits. In addition, every employee should have a living wage, a secure job, and a voice in the workplace before even a dividend is paid to shareholders. “