Over 80 millionaires around the world call for higher taxes on the richest to help COVID-19 global recovery

Published: 13th July 2020

Today, a group of 83 millionaires from seven countries, the “Millionaires for Humanity”, released an open letter to governments, calling for a permanent tax increase on the very wealthiest to help pay for the global recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.

The letter praises the essential workers who have been on the frontline of the crisis and highlights the role that the richest people in society can play in helping to rebalance the world economy. In it, the group urges governments to raise taxes on millionaires and billionaires “immediately, substantially and permanently.”

The group released their call ahead of this weekend’s G20 Finance Ministers and Central Governors meeting, and the Special European Council meeting in Brussels, both of which are expected to discuss the global effort to rebuild economies in a post-COVID world. They hope politicians will address global inequality and acknowledge that tax increases on the wealthy and greater international tax transparency are essential for a viable long-term solution.

Prominent signatories include the founder of the Warehouse Group, New Zealander Sir Stephen Tindall, British screenwriter and director Richard Curtis, American film producer and heiress Abigail Disney, Danish-Iranian entrepreneur Djaffar Shalchi, American co-founder of Ben and Jerry’s Jerry Greenfield, award winning German start-up investor and philanthropist Dr. Mariana Bozesan, and American former managing director at Blackrock Morris Pearl

Morris Pearl, investor and the chairman of the Patriotic Millionaires said: "The COVID-19 crisis has revealed the fragility of our system and shown that no one ―rich or poor― is better off in a society with massive inequality and a failing social safety net. We must reset our tax structure to one that values the contribution of labor as much as the contribution of capital.”

Djaffar Shalchi, entrepreneur, philanthropist and founder of Human Act said: "Together, we question the concentration of wealth, and demand hands on solutions to create more economically viable societies. Personally, I believe we need a global wealth tax of one percent on the world's richest people. People like me can afford it, it will do us no harm, and it will have a huge impact." 

Dr. Mariana Bozesan, 2019’s European female investor of the year and philanthropist said: “Like the 2008 financial crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic shows us that current systems, including economic, financial and political, are not well equipped to handle current grand global challenges; they are only exacerbating them. Because I grew up extremely poor in communist Romania, I feel a deep calling to do whatever I can to implement the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and am especially focused on inequality, poverty, and job creation that can restore dignity and well-being at all levels of society.”

The letter was circulated by the Patriotic Millionaires, Oxfam, Human Act, Tax Justice UK, Club of Rome, Resource Justice, and Bridging Ventures, and warns that the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic could push half a billion more people into poverty.

Notes to editors

Contact information

Oxfam | Annie Thériault in Canada | annie.theriault@oxfam.org | +53 936 307 990
Patriotic Millionaires | Dylan Dusseault in the USA | dylan@patrioticmillionaires.org
Human Act | Ole Damkjær Nielsen in Denmark | oda@humanact.org | 20860302

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