Eighty-three millionaires have signed an open letter calling on governments around the world to tax them more to help fund the economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis.
The group, which has called itself ‘Millionaires for Humanity’ is asking governments to raise taxes on its members “immediately, substantially and permanently”.
Signatories include Disney heir Abigail Disney and Ben and Jerry’s co-founder Jerry Greenfield, as well as other millionaires from around the world.
The letter has been signed by four British millionaires, including Blackadder and Four Weddings And A Funeral writer Richard Curtis.
Those who signed the letter said: “The problems caused by, and revealed by, COVID-19 can’t be solved with charity, no matter how generous. Government leaders must take the responsibility for raising the funds we need and spending them fairly.
“As Covid-19 hits the world, millionaires like us have a critical role to play in healing the world. We are not the ones who are treating patients in intensive care units. We are not the ones who drive the ambulances that bring the infected to hospitals. We are not the ones who are refilling supermarket shelves or delivering food to doors. But we have money, a lot of money ”, they say, recommending the authorities to raise the tax rates applied to them.
“We ask our governments to increase taxes levied on people like us. Immediately. Substantially. Permanently ”, they write in the letter.
“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.”
A recent report by Credit Suisse found there are 46.8 million millionaires worldwide, and they own nearly half of the world’s global total wealth.
The open letter continued: “We owe a huge debt to the people working on the frontlines of this global battle. Most essential workers are grossly underpaid for the burden they carry. At the vanguard of this fight are our health care workers, 70 per cent of whom are women.”
The signers conclude that raising taxes on the wealthy is the “only choice” and that “humanity is more important than our money”.
Some of the world’s super-rich have already donated money to assist Covid-19 relief efforts — including Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Twitter founder Jack Dorsey.