Group of millionaires demand wealth tax in virtual Davos


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ZURICH — A group of more than 100 billionaires and millionaires has appealed to political and business leaders gathered virtually for the World Economic Forum: make us pay more taxes.

The group calling itself the “Patriotic Millionaires” said the ultra-wealthy were not currently being forced to pay their share of the global economic recovery from the pandemic.

“As millionaires, we know that the current tax system is not fair. Most of us can say that while the world has gone through immense suffering over the past two years, we have actually seen our wealth increase during the pandemic – yet few, if any, of us can honestly say that we pay our fair share in taxes,” the signatories said in an open letter, released at the World Economic Forum’s “Virtual Davos,” which kicked off January 17.

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Reuters reported the staggering rise in wealth of billionaires last year https://www.Reuters.com/world/europe/2020-ultra-rich-got-richer-now-theyre-bracing-backlash-2021- 03-25 in 2020 as the world went into lockdown and the global economy faced its worst recession since World War II, prompting the group of millionaires to call for higher taxes.

While this has prompted over 130 countries to strike a deal to ensure big business pays a global minimum tax rate https://www.Reuters.com/business/finance/what-is-global-minimum-tax -deal-what-will -it-mean-2021-10-08 by 15%, aimed at making it harder for them to avoid tax, millionaires said the wealthy still had to contribute more.

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Over the two years of the pandemic, the fortunes of the world’s 10 richest people have reached $1.5 trillion – or $15,000 per second – an Oxfam study showed this week.

“PART OF THE PROBLEM”

In the letter, the signatories, including Disney heiress Abigail Disney and venture capitalist Nick Hanauer, told Davos attendees gathering for a week of online brokerage and discussions: “You’re not going to find the answer in a private forum… you are part of the problem.

A spokesperson for the World Economic Forum said paying a fair share of taxes was one of the forum’s tenets and that a wealth tax – such as exists in Switzerland, where the organization is based – could be a good model to deploy elsewhere.

In most countries, with the exception of a handful in Europe and some newcomers to South America, the wealthy do not have to pay annual taxes on assets such as real estate, stocks or works of art, as they are taxed only when the asset is sold.

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A progressive wealth tax starting at 2% for those with more than $5 million and rising to 5% for billionaires could gross $2.52 trillion, enough globally to raise $2.3 billion. lift one billion people out of poverty and ensure health care and social protection for people living in low-income countries.

The World Bank in 2021 published an article urging countries to consider a wealth tax https://blogs.worldbank.org/governance/wealth-tax-address-five-global-disruptions to help reduce inequality, rebuild State coffers depleted by COVID-19 aid schemes and regain social trust.

However, apart from Argentina and Colombia, no new wealth tax system has been initiated since the start of the pandemic. (Reporting by Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi and Simon Jessop; Editing by Alex Richardson)

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