More than 100 billionaires call for global wealth tax

clock • 2 min read
More than 100 billionaires call for global wealth tax

A group called ‘Patriotic Millionaires' has called for a global wealth tax at the World Economic Forum being held virtually at Davos in Switzerland.

The group of more than 100 billionaires and millionaires said: "As millionaires, we know that the current tax system is not fair.

In an open letter, they said: "Most of us can say that, while the world has gone through an immense amount of suffering in the last two years, we have actually seen our wealth rise during the pandemic - yet few if any of us can honestly say that we pay our fair share in taxes."

The signatories including Disney heiress Abigail Disney and venture capitalist Nick Hanauer.

According to a study conducted by the Patriotic Millionaires together with Oxfam and other non-profits, a progressive wealth tax starting at 2% for those with more than $5 million and rising to 5% for billionaires could raise $2.52 trillion, enough globally to lift 2.3 billion people out of poverty and guarantee healthcare and social protection for individuals living in lower income countries.

In the Oxfam report ‘Inequality kills' the analysis records what it claims has been the biggest surge in billionaire wealth since records began.

This is because billionaires have seen their wealth increase by €4.35 trillion since the start of the pandemic two years ago, with a new billionaire created every 26 hours.

But inequality is also contributing to the death of at least 21,000 people each day, or one person every four seconds, the report published ahead of the World Economic Forum's virtual Davos Agenda calculates.

This is based on deaths across the world from factors such as the lack of access to healthcare, gender-based violence, hunger and climate breakdown.

"Central banks pumped trillions of euros into financial markets to save the economy, yet much of that has ended up lining the pockets of billionaires riding a stock market boom," said Oxfam Ireland's CEO Jim Clarken.