Eighty three of the world’s wealthy are asking governments to tax them more:
Businessman and philanthropist Sir Stephen Tindall is among the world’s richest people urging governments to raise taxes on the rich, as the world grapples with the economic impact of Covid-19.
Tindall is one of 83 millionaires who signed an open letter which said “today, we, the undersigned millionaires, ask 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,” it says.
“So please. Tax us. Tax us. Tax us. It is the right choice. It is the only choice.”
Are they saying this in the knowledge that they have been and are paying all the tax they should, that they haven’t arranged their affairs to minimize their personal or business taxes?
Oh and how many of them have applied for government subsidies? If they have, would they like to start by repaying at least some of that?
The letter says: “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.” . . .
They do have lots of money and they’ve got that through hard work and shrewd investments. Do these people really think the government would spend their money better and do more good with it than they can?
If so they are free to give the national coffers a lot more money than they owe in tax at any time.
But there aren’t very many really rich people in New Zealand and governments aren’t as good at using other people’s money as successful people are at using their own.
If they really want to make a positive difference the wealthy would be better to invest their money themselves in businesses that would increase or create jobs, preferably ones that would also earn export income to replace at least some of what we’ve lost from international tourism and education.
These successful businesses would then contribute to the tax take without the need for the punitive tax rates the wealthy are suggesting.
If they prefer something more philanthropic they could build and run charitable hospitals and schools to reduce the burden of providing health and education services publicly.
Either way they would waste less and achieve more than the governments they are so eager to give more to would.