A group of millionaires and billionaires from around the world published a letter on Wednesday calling the current tax system unfair and demanded that governments tax them more to help hard-working people.
The super-rich signatories, including Disney heiress and philanthropist Abigail Disney, admitted that while the world has gone through an “immense amount of suffering” during the two years of the pandemic, they have seen their wealth rise, and yet “few if any of them” paid their “fair share in taxes.”
The letter, released as the world’s most powerful people meet for a virtual World Economic Forum in Davos, goes on to point out that a “complete overhaul of [the] system” is necessary as up until now it has been “deliberately designed to make the rich richer.”
“Restoring trust requires taxing the rich. Tax us, the rich, and tax us now,” the letter reads.
Some of the signatories are part of the Millionaires for Humanity movement, which has been campaigning for higher taxes on multimillionaires to help overcome the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and reduce inequality.
The initiative follows a damning report from Oxfam this week, ahead of the Davos forum. The anti-poverty charity says that the world's 10 richest people doubled their fortune during the two years of the coronavirus crisis, while the poorest 99% have seen their income go down.
Last October, a group of UK millionaires petitioned the British government to introduce a wealth tax to help pay for the economic recovery from Covid-19. A similar letter was published in the US in 2019, calling on the candidates of the then-upcoming presidential election to create a wealth tax on the ultrarich. Among the signatories were investor George Soros, Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, and Abigail Disney.
Estimates suggest that, in 2021, the richest 10% of American families hold some 70% of the country's wealth.
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