Half of the nations covered cut their spending on social protection and 70 percent slashed education.

Half of the nations covered cut their spending on social protection and 70 percent slashed education.
Half of the nations covered cut their spending on social protection and 70 percent slashed education. (AFP Archive)

The world has mostly failed to address a "dangerous" increase in inequality in the wake of the Covid pandemic, anti-poverty campaigners Oxfam said on Tuesday.

The charity revealed the findings of its "Commitment to Reducing Inequality Index" (CRI) study, examining actions and policies of governments to tackle inequality in the first two years of Covid.

"Covid-19 has increased inequality worldwide, as the poorest were hit hardest by both the disease and its profound economic impacts," stated the report, which is compiled every two years.

"Yet the CRI 2022 Index shows clearly that most of the world's governments failed to mitigate this dangerous rise in inequality."

The charity assessed 161 governments from 2020 to 2022, after what it called "the biggest global health emergency in a century".

Half of the nations covered cut their spending on social protection and 70 percent slashed education.

READ MORE: The true scale of the global North’s economic appropriation of the South

Norway best performing country

The pandemic slashed consumer spending due to lockdowns, in turn slashing taxation revenues.

However, 143 nations out of the 161 failed to increase taxation on the wealthy — and 11 chose to cut their taxes.

The study added that a small group of governments bucked this trend and took "clear actions" to fight inequality.

This minority put "the rest of the world to shame", it said.

Oxfam also found that two-thirds of countries failed to increase their minimum wage in line with gross domestic product.

And it ranked them in an index based on their actions and policies on three areas: social spending, taxation, and labour.

Norway topped the index as the best performing nation when it comes to tackling inequality.

It was followed by Germany, Australia, Belgium and then Canada. France was ranked 12th while Britain stood at 14th.

READ MORE: Extreme inequality kills one person every four seconds: Oxfam

Source: AFP