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Billionaires adding to poverty

Level 1

Elementary

1 Warmer
a. Write the following numbers.
one hundred and eighty-nine billion
_________________________________________________
thirty-one trillion
_________________________________________________
b. How many billionaires can you name?
c. What is Oxfam?

2 Key words
Write the key words from the article next to the definitions below. Then find the words in the article to read
them in context. The paragraph numbers are given to help you.

inequality

fortunes

poverty

the wealthy

billionaires

1. very large amounts of money __________________ (para 1)


2. people who have more than 1,000,000,000 pounds or dollars __________________ (para 1)
3. a situation in which people are not equal because some have more opportunities, power, money, etc than
others __________________ (para 1)
4. a situation in which someone does not have enough money to pay for their basic needs __________________
(para 1)
5. people who are very rich __________________ (para 4)

estimated

benefit

income

tax havens

aid

6. to give financial help __________________ (para 4)


7. money that someone gets from working or from investing money __________________ (para 6)
8. to help someone or give them an advantage __________________ (para 8)
9. guessed or calculated __________________ (para 11)

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NEWS LESSONS / Billionaires adding to poverty / Elementary

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10. places where people go to live, or where they keep their money, so that they do not have to pay higher taxes in
their home country __________________ (para 14)

Billionaires adding to poverty

Level 1

Elementary

Billionaires fortunes hinder fight


against poverty, says Oxfam
Phillip Inman, economics correspondent
19 January, 2013
1 The huge fortunes made by the worlds
richest 100 billionaires are making inequality
worse and stopping the world from being
able to reduce poverty, says Oxfam.
2 Oxfam said the world could end poverty
several times over if the richest 100
billionaires would give away the money they
made in 2012.
3 The charity said that the $240bn made in
2012 by the richest 100 billionaires would
be enough to end extreme poverty four
times over.
4 It is unusual for charities to attack the
wealthy, because they are usually seen
as a source of money. Bill Gates and
Warren Buffett are among a group of 40
US billionaires who have said they will give
much of their money to aid projects, but
there is little information about how much
money they give each year.

10 In the US, the share of national income that


goes to the top 1% of people has doubled
since 1980 from 10% to 20%, the
report says.
11 The richest 1% are estimated to cause
10,000 times more pollution than the
average US citizen.
12 Oxfam said world leaders should learn from
countries such as Brazil, which has grown
quickly and reduced inequality at the
same time.
13 Stocking said that world leaders should
agree to reduce inequality to the levels seen
in 1990.
14 She said closing tax havens, which hold as
much as $31 trillion, or as much as a third
of all global wealth, could collect $189bn in
additional taxes.
Guardian News and Media 2013
First published in The Guardian, 19/01/13

5 Russian, Middle Eastern and Chinese


billionaires do not give away money to
charity in the same way that US
billionaires do.
6 In the report, the charity asks world
leaders to end income extremes and
reduce inequality.
7 The report said that the richest 1% of people
have increased their incomes by 60% in the
past 20 years.
8 Barbara Stocking, Oxfams Chief Executive,
said: We can no longer pretend that wealth
for a few people will benefit many people
too often the opposite is true.

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NEWS LESSONS / Billionaires adding to poverty / Elementary

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9 The report said the problem affected all


parts of the world. In the UK, inequality
is returning to levels not seen since the
nineteenth century. In China, the top
10% now earn nearly 60% of the income.
Chinese inequality levels are now similar to
those in South Africa, which is now the most
unequal country on Earth.

Billionaires adding to poverty

Level 1

Elementary

3 Comprehension check
Match these sentence halves to summarize the article.
1. The worlds richest 100 billionaires increased
their wealth

a. do not give as much money to charity as US


billionaires do.

2. We would need only a quarter of that amount

b. will reduce financial inequality.

3. The article criticizes US billionaires who do not


give details of

c. could learn from Brazil.

4. Billionaires in China, Russia and the Middle East

d. most extreme is South Africa.

5. Oxfam says world leaders

e. there would be much more money available.

6. Financial inequality is

f.

7. The second worst country

g. to end world poverty.

8. Billionaires damage the environment

h. for inequality is China.

9. Oxfam wants world leaders to promise that they

i.

how much money they give to aid projects.

10. If rich people were unable to hide their money in


tax havens,

j.

by $240 billion in 2012.

by creating 10,000 times more pollution than


the average American.

4 Word fields
a. Find all the money-related words in the article and write them into the box.

b. Write example sentences for those words that you know but dont know how to use yet.

5 Discussion

How did you feel when you read this article?

Do you think that the worlds richest people can end world poverty?

6 Writing
Write either a letter or an email about this article and its contents to one of the following:
a. a newspaper
b. a billionaire
c. your local member of parliament.

7 Webquest

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NEWS LESSONS / Billionaires adding to poverty / Elementary

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Go to http://www.oxfam.org/ and find out more about Oxfams work.

Billionaires adding to poverty

Level 1

Elementary

KEY
1 Warmer

4 Word fields

a. 189,000,000,000; 31,000,000,000,000
b. possible answers: Bill Gates; Richard Branson;
Oprah Winfrey; Mark Zuckerberg; Donald Trump;
Giorgio Armani; George Lucas; J K Rowling;
Steven Spielberg
c. a worldwide charity: Oxfam is an international
confederation of 17 organizations networked
together in more than 90 countries, as part of a
global movement for change, to build a future free
from the injustice of poverty.
http://www.oxfam.org/

a.
billionaires, poverty, economics, fortunes, richest, money,
the wealthy, aid, income, earn, wealth, tax

2 Key words
1. fortunes
2. billionaires
3. inequality
4. poverty
5. the wealthy
6. aid
7. income
8. benefit
9. estimated
10. tax havens

3 Comprehension check

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NEWS LESSONS / Billionaires adding to poverty / Elementary

Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2013

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1. j
2. g
3. i
4. a
5. c
6. d
7. h
8. f
9. b
10. e