A group of 83 millionaires from seven countries released an open letter to governments today, calling for a permanent tax increase on the very wealthiest to help pay for the global recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.
The letter praises the essential workers who have been on the frontline of the crisis and highlights the role that the richest people in society can play in helping to rebalance the world economy. The group also urges governments to raise taxes on millionaires and billionaires “immediately, substantially and permanently.”
The millionaires released their call ahead of this weekend’s G20 Finance Ministers and Central Governors meeting, and the Special European Council meeting in Brussels, both of which are expected to discuss the global effort to rebuild economies in a post-COVID world. They hope politicians will address global inequality and acknowledge that tax increases on the wealthy and greater international tax transparency are essential for a viable long-term solution.
Prominent signatories include the film producer and heiress Abigail Disney, co-founder of Ben and Jerry’s Jerry Greenfield, former managing director at Blackrock Morris Pearl, British screenwriter and director Richard Curtis, Danish-Iranian entrepreneur Djaffar Shalchi, award winning German start-up investor and philanthropist Dr. Mariana Bozesan, and founder of the Warehouse Group, New Zealander Sir Stephen Tindall.
Morris Pearl, investor and the chairman of the Patriotic Millionaires said: "The COVID-19 crisis has revealed the fragility of our system and shown that no one ―rich or poor― is better off in a society with massive inequality and a failing social safety net. We must reset our tax structure to one that values the contribution of labor as much as the contribution of capital.”
Djaffar Shalchi, entrepreneur, philanthropist and founder of Human Act said: "Together, we question the concentration of wealth, and demand hands on solutions to create more economically viable societies. Personally, I believe we need a global wealth tax of one percent on the world's richest people. People like me can afford it, it will do us no harm, and it will have a huge impact."
Dr. Mariana Bozesan, 2019’s European female investor of the year and philanthropist said: “Like the 2008 financial crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic shows us that current systems, including economic, financial and political, are not well equipped to handle current grand global challenges; they are only exacerbating them. Because I grew up extremely poor in communist Romania, I feel a deep calling to do whatever I can to implement the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and am especially focused on inequality, poverty, and job creation that can restore dignity and well-being at all levels of society.”
The letter was circulated by the Patriotic Millionaires, Oxfam, Human Act, Tax Justice UK, Club of Rome, Resource Justice, and Bridging Ventures, and warns that the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic could push half a billion more people into poverty.