World Bank issues inequality warning

The World Bank has called for a fresh drive to tackle inequality after warning that the gap between rich and poor risks thwarting its ambition of eliminating extreme poverty by 2030.

In the first edition of a new annual study,  the Bank says inequality risks undermining its twin goals of reducing poverty from just under 11% of the global population to 3%, and boosting the incomes of the bottom 40% of the population in each country.

Amid a growing backlash against globalisation, driven by concerns that the rich have captured the gains of free trade, the Bank said global inequality had declined consistently since 1990.

But within individual countries, the improvement has been patchier, with income gaps widening in 34 of the 83 countries monitored since 2008.