Coronavirus: Disney heir and Ben & Jerry’s call for higher taxes
Some of the world’s richest people have urged governments to raise taxes on the wealthy to help pay for measures aimed at tackling the coronavirus pandemic.
A group of 83 millionaires called for «permanent» change in an open letter.
«As Covid-19 strikes the world, millionaires like us have a critical role to play in healing our world,» it says.
Signatories include heiress Abigail Disney and Ben & Jerry’s co-founder Jerry Greenfield.
The letter says: «No, we are not the ones caring for the sick in intensive care wards. We are not driving the ambulances that will bring the ill to hospitals. We are not restocking grocery store shelves or delivering food door to door.
«But we do have money, lots of it. Money that is desperately needed now and will continue to be needed in the years ahead, as our world recovers from this crisis.»
People across seven countries have added their names to the letter including British film director Richard Curtis and Sir Stephen Tindall, the founder of the Warehouse Group and one of New Zealand’s richest men.
The group warned that the economic impact would «last for decades» and could push more than half a billion people into poverty.
«Government leaders must take the responsibility for raising the funds we need and spending them fairly,» the letter says.
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It was released ahead of this weekend’s G20 finance ministers and central bank governors’ meeting.
The group called on politicians to «acknowledge that tax increases on the wealthy and greater international tax transparency are essential for a viable long-term solution».
The letter was organised by Oxfam, Patriotic Millionaires, Human Act, Tax Justice UK, Club of Rome, Resource Justice, and Bridging Ventures.
It is the latest call for the world’s wealthiest to contribute more in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis.
Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest person and founder of Amazon, has added billions to his fortune as demand for online shopping has soared, pushing up the firm’s share price.
Critics pointed out that while Mr Bezos donated $100m to food banks in the US, that came to less than 0.1% of his estimated fortune.