Disney heiress Abigail Disney is a longtime advocate of higher taxes for the very wealthy.
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A group of 102 super-wealthy people have signed a letter asking governments to raise their taxes.
The current tax system is unfair and leads to trust erosion, they said.
They are calling on leaders meeting at the World Economic Forum this week to address the issue.
A group of millionaires is asking governments around the world to make them pay more in taxes to help narrow the wealth gap.
In an open letter, 102 super-wealthy individuals said the current tax system is unfair and leads to an erosion in trust.
“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,” said the group, which is backed by three separate organizations: US-based Patriotic Millionaires, Germany-based Tax Me, and Denmark-based Millionaires for Humanity.
Among the group members are Disney heiress Abigail Disney, who is a longtime advocate of higher taxes for the very wealthy; her brother Tim Disney; and early Amazon investor Nick Hanauer. The letter is signed by individuals from nine countries including the US, UK, Canada, and Germany.
In the letter, the group argues that the international tax system has created a lack of trust between regular people and the elites, who are the “architects of this system.”
“The world — every country in it — must demand the rich pay their fair share. Tax us, the rich, and tax us now,” they wrote. The letter did not give specific recommendations for increased taxation.
The timing of the letter coincides with this week’s virtual World Economic Forum (WEF), where world leaders and corporate power brokers meet to discuss key global challenges and solutions. It’s usually held in the Swiss mountain resort of Davos every year.
The group of millionaires said the forum has produced “little tangible value.”
“Until participants acknowledge the simple, effective solution staring them in the face — taxing the rich — the people of the world will continue to see their so-called dedication to fixing the world’s problems as little more than a performance,” they added.
The WEF did not immediately reply to Insider’s request for comment but told Reuters that paying a fair share of taxes is one of the forum’s key principles.
It’s not the first time the super-wealthy have called for a wealth tax. In an open letter in June, Millionaires for Humanity called for “permanent tax increase on the wealthiest people on the planet, people like us.” Other informal groups of super-rich people have also been urging governments to tax them more, the Financial Times reported last year.
But other than some countries in Europe and South America, most countries do not have a wealth tax, per Reuters. In a blog post last year, the World Bank urged countries to consider instituting a wealth tax to narrow inequality. Argentina and Colombia are the only two countries that have created new wealth taxes since the start of the pandemic, per Reuters.
On Monday, Oxfam urged governments to “claw back” gains made by the wealthy during the pandemic through means like taxation. The wealth of the world’s 10 richest men more than doubled to $1.5 trillion in the midst of the ongoing public health crisis, the charity said.
News, Wealth, Billionaires, Millionaires, Inequality, Tax, COVID-19 pandemic
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