Oxfam reaction to Zucman report to Brazil’s G20 Presidency on taxing the super-rich

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Published today, economist Gabriel Zucman’s report ―due to be formally presented at the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors’ Meeting in July― sets out a proposal for a global standard on taxing the ultra-rich. In response, Oxfam International’s interim Executive Director Amitabh Behar said:

“This is a sensible and serious proposal that is in every government’s strategic economic interest. All G20 countries should support Brazil’s push to secure the first-ever global deal to tax the super-rich. We welcome the Zucman report, which offers a critical contribution toward fixing a system that allows the ultra-rich to avoid taxes and not only accumulate and protect astronomical amounts of wealth and income ―but also hide it from governments.

“That governments are taking taxing the ultra-rich seriously shows national politics are finally catching up with public disgust at the super-rich having wriggled out of paying their fair share of tax for far too long. The Zucman report mirrors what so many ordinary people ―and even millionaires― are pushing for.

“Any global deal to tax the super-rich needs to be substantial and ambitious enough to bring down inequality. For example, an annual net wealth tax of more than 8 percent would be needed to reduce billionaire wealth.

“Taxing the ultra-rich properly could raise billions of dollars for governments to combat inequality and tackle the climate crisis. Every government needs to act nationally, yes —but they also need to cooperate internationally given how effectively the ultra-rich can evade across borders. Zucman’s report sends a clear memo to the ultra-rich: ‘your wealth and power can’t shield you from paying your fair share any longer.’ It could be a significant step forward in mending our broken, divided and unequal societies."

Oxfam is a global organization that fights inequality to end poverty and injustice. We offer lifesaving support in times of crisis and advocate for economic justice, gender equality, and climate action. We demand equal rights and equal treatment so that everyone can thrive, not just survive. The future is equal. Join us at oxfamamerica.org.

/ENDS

Notes to editors:

The United States, via the “French-American Roadmap,” has welcomed the initiative taken by the G20 Brazilian presidency on international tax cooperation, and affirmed its intention to increase efforts aimed at fair taxation of individuals. Secretary Yellen has raised concerns about any deal that would redistribute revenue globally. Redistribution is not central to the current G20 proposal.

Nearly three quarters of millionaires polled in G20 countries support higher taxes on wealth, and over half think extreme wealth is a “threat to democracy.”

Oxfam has calculated that to keep billionaires’ wealth constant over the last two decades, we would have needed an annual net wealth tax of more than 8 percent across all countries.

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