Prominent campaigners, comprising nearly 300 millionaires, economists, and political figures, are demanding that the G20 summit, scheduled this weekend in Delhi, serves as the platform for a pivotal international consensus on heightening wealth taxes imposed upon the world’s affluent.
In an eloquent open letter addressed to the G20 leadership, the collective emphasizes the pressing need for robust action to safeguard the global future from the insidious erosion caused by extreme wealth disparities.
Signatories to this impassioned appeal include notable figures such as Abigail Disney, heiress to the Disney fortune, and renowned artists Brian Eno and Richard Curtis. The letter implores the G20 to manifest the same spirit of global cooperation that it previously displayed when securing a commitment from multinational corporations to pay a minimum level of taxation, now urging collective action on wealth taxation.
Amidst significant divisions within the G20, expectations for the forthcoming summit remain modest. Nevertheless, proponents of a wealth tax assert that it is high time for leaders to heed the voice of public opinion.
The compelling letter asserts, “Considerable groundwork has already been laid. A wealth of policy recommendations regarding wealth taxation from some of the world’s most esteemed economists exists. The public clamors for it. We demand it. All that remains is the political determination to enact it. The time has come for you to find that determination.”
Organized by a coalition comprising Patriotic Millionaires, the Institute for Policy Studies, Earth 4 All, Millionaires for Humanity, and Oxfam, the letter contends that a more stringent taxation of wealth would curtail “perilous levels of inequality.”
According to campaigners, the collective wealth of individuals possessing assets exceeding $50 million (£40 million) has surged to a staggering $11.8 trillion, yet wealth taxes contribute merely four cents to every tax revenue dollar.
Taxing the wealthiest, those most capable of affording it, constitutes a return to fundamental economic wisdom. Regrettably, no major political party exhibits the zeal or integrity to proceed with this imperative task.”
Prominent figures endorsing this clarion call for wealth taxation encompass US Senator Bernie Sanders, former UN General Assembly President Maria Espinosa, and economists Gabriel Zucman, Jayati Ghosh, Kate Raworth, Joe Stiglitz, Lucas Chancel, and Thomas Piketty.
The letter underscores that the G20, comprising the G7 affluent nations alongside key emerging economies such as China, India, Brazil, and Indonesia, should collectively commit to heightening taxes on affluent individuals while suppressing tax competition and evasion among the super-rich.
Katy Chakrabortty, Oxfam’s Head of Policy and Advocacy, asserted, “The crescendo of voices has grown too resounding for politicians to persistently disregard. The world stands at a critical juncture; equitable taxation to address the cost of living and climate crises garners support from millionaires and the public alike. Governments must now take decisive action.”