“Every year hundreds of billions of dollars, which should be paid in taxes to fund health care and education, accumulate in tax haven accounts,” the pontiff told participants in a Vatican seminar, “thus impeding the possibility of the dignified and sustained development of all social agents.”
“Today’s structures of sin include repeated tax cuts for the richest people, often justified in the name of investment and development,” Francis told the meeting organized by the Pontifical Academy for Social Sciences.
During his discourse, the pope repeated his conviction that poverty is on the rise worldwide and “the poor increase around us.”
With the passage of time and the advances of civilization the number of poor people increases rather than diminishing, Francis similarly asserted last June, and “the poor are always poorer, and today they are poorer than ever.”
As a Brookings Institution report noted in late 2018, however, the world is currently experiencing “the lowest prevalence of extreme poverty ever recorded in human history — less than 8 percent,” and that number falls with each passing year.