Some of the world’s wealthiest individuals, including Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream co-founder, Jerry Greenfield, and Disney heir, Abigail Disney, are calling on governments to increase taxes on them to help pay for the economic fall-out caused by the Covid-19 crisis.
In a letter shared and reported by The Guardian, the super-rich group of 83 individuals appealed for “our governments to raise taxes on people like us. Immediately. Substantially. Permanently”.
“As Covid-19 strikes the world, millionaires like us have a critical role to play in healing our world,” they expressed in the letter. “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,” the letter said.
Other members of the world’s elite who added their names to the letter are British screenwriter and director, Richard Curtis, and Irish venture capitalist, John O’Farrell.
The signatories stated that the economic impact of the crisis could last for decades, and “push half a billion more people into poverty”.
“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,” the group write. “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.”
The letter was released ahead of the G20 meeting for finance ministers and central bank governors this weekend.