13 July 2020 8h03
The super rich want to be taxed more
LONDON — A group of 83 millionaires on Monday called for more taxing of the richest of the planet “immediately” and “permanently”, in order to contribute to the recovery after the crisis caused by the pandemic of novel coronavirus.
“While the COVID-19 strikes the world, millionaires as we have a vital role to play in the healing of the world”, ask the signatories of an open letter, among which is the co-founder of the giant american ice cream Ben & Jerry’s, Jerry Greenfield, or the british director Richard Curtis.
This letter, published before the meeting of the Finance ministers of the G20 and the summit, the extraordinary european council on the EU’s recovery this week, calls on “governments to increase the taxes of people like us. Immediately, substantially and permanently”.
“We are not those who care for patients in intensive care units. We don’t drive the ambulances that bring patients to the hospital. We are not those who regarnissent the shelves of grocery stores or deliver food door-to-door,” wrote the group, which is baptize Millionaires for Humanity, on a website of the same name.
“But we have the money, a lot. We absolutely need money now and we will continue to need in the coming years” to recover from the crisis, the impact of which “will last for tens of years” and could “push a half-billion people in poverty”.
“The problems caused and revealed by the COVID-19 cannot be solved by charity, as generous as it is. The heads of government must take the responsibility to raise the funds we need, and spend it equitably” to fund “adequate to our health systems, schools, and security via a permanent increase in taxes on the most wealthy of the planet, people like us”.
The pandemic of novel coronavirus has led to a historic recession around the world, pushing the governments to spend billions in aid to households and enterprises hit by the economic paralysis resulting from the confinement.
According to the OECD, the decline of the world’s gross domestic product is expected to reach at least 6 % this year and 7.6 % in case of a second epidemic wave, whereas the rebound expected for 2021 would be 5.2 % with no return of the coronavirus, and 2.8 % with.
For years, billionaires such as Warren Buffett and Bill Gates are asking to be taxed more.
A year ago, a small group of billionaires americans, including businessman George Soros, the co-founder of Facebook Chris Hughes and heirs of empires Hyatt and Disney, among others, had also published a letter to support the idea of a wealth tax.