A coalition of some of the world’s wealthiest people, including entertainment heirs Abigail and Tim Disney, have signed an open letter urging governments to tax them more to pay for the coronavirus crisis.
- Some 83 millionaires from the U.S., U.K., Germany, New Zealand, Canada and the Netherlands signed the letter, organized by the “Millionaires for Humanity” project, which has the backing of the charity Oxfam, U.S. campaign group Patriotic Millionaires and Tax Justice UK, among others.
- “We can ensure we adequately fund our health systems, schools and security through a permanent tax increase on the wealthiest people on the planet, people like us,” the letter read.
- It added that a “huge debt” is owed to frontline workers confronting the deadly virus at work each day.
- The letter adds: “Unlike tens of millions of people around the world, we do not have to worry about losing our jobs, our homes or our ability to support our families. . . . So please. Tax us. Tax us. Tax us. It is the right choice. It is the only choice.”
- The letter comes as opposition lawmakers in the U.K. are demanding a wealth tax to fund coronavirus relief efforts.
The letter read: “To our fellow global citizens, As Covid-19 strikes the world, millionaires like us have a critical role to play in healing our world. 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.
“Today, we, the undersigned millionaires, ask our governments to raise taxes on people like us. Immediately. Substantially. Permanently.”
Some of the world’s wealthiest people have donated millions to coronavirus relief efforts, while others are facing calls to donate greater chunks of their wealth. Billionaires Bill Gates and Jack Dorsey have pledged more than $1 billion collectively to fund vaccines and relief efforts. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest person, has donated $100 million to Feeding America, but faced criticism for Amazon’s handling of the crisis internally, as warehouse workers protested a lack of protection against the virus’ health and economic dangers.
Governments across the world have pledged billions in stimulus packages to support individuals and industries reeling from lockdown measures and widespread job losses, including the U.S., which has spent more than $250 billion on stimulus checks for individuals and families.