So please: Tax us. Tax us. Tax us. It is the right choice


Two New Zealand rich listers are among the first signatories on a ‘Millionaires for Humanity’ letter urging governments across the world to raise the tax for the wealthy amidst the COVID-19 crisis.

The Warehouse Group founder Sir Stephen Tindall and Hire Things founder Peter Torr Smith are two of 174 millionaires to have signed the document so far.

The open letter said: “Today, we, the undersigned millionaires, ask our governments to raise taxes on people like us. Immediately. Substantially. Permanently.”

The letter says as Covid-19 strikes the world, millionaires have a critical role to play.

“So please. Tax us. Tax us. Tax us. It is the right choice. It is the only choice.”

“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 future.”

It goes on to stress that the pandemic crisis cannot be solved with charity alone – no matter how generous people around the world were.

They say it was the responsibility of governments and world leaders to raise the funds needed and to go onto spend and spread those funds out equally and fairly.

Statistics NZ in 2018 said while the wealthiest 20 per cent had seen their fortunes skyrocket, the wealth of the bottom 40 percent of Kiwis hadn’t changed in years.

An Oxfam report,  in 2018, found one per cent of New Zealanders own 28 per cent of new wealth generated the previous year – while the poorest 30 percent only got one percent of it.

Last month, the Green Party unveiled a Guaranteed Minimum Income (GMI) policy designed to address this inequality, which would be paid for by increasing taxes on the very wealthiest members of society.

They say it would raise $7.9 billion in its first year, “covering the GMI’s costs.”

The plan has been widely admonished, with members of National and ACT labelling it an “envy tax” and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern saying it makes “fairly heroic assumptions.”

Read the letter “Millionaires for Humanity.”


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