The top 1 per cent of Australians are now wealthier than the bottom 70 per cent combined.

A new Oxfam report has revealed a record increase in the number of billionaires in Australia last year, from 33 to 43.

Their combined wealth climbed to almost $160 billion last year.

This equates to an increase of about $100 million a day – or about half the Federal Government's total health budget this financial year.

Oxfam Australia chief Helen Szoke says the most disadvantaged people remain trapped in an entrenched cycle of poverty.

“The wealth of the bottom half of our community has not changed and ordinary workers' wage growth has remained stagnant,” Dr Szoke said.

“Australia is among the wealthiest nations in the world, yet the pervasive gap between the haves and the have-nots persists. This inequality simply cannot, and does not need to, continue.”

Oxfam wants tougher laws for big corporations and multinationals found to be avoiding tax.