A group of 30 millionaires have petitioned Chancellor Rishi Sunak to introduce a ‘wealth tax’ whereby the richest, and therefore those most able to afford it, are the ones who pay most towards the Covid recovery.

The group published an open letter to Sunak which suggested the idea of taxing the wealthy to ensure that only those who can afford it paid more in tax because “the cost of recovery cannot fall on the young or on those with lower incomes”.

Who are they?

The 30 signatories are millionaires from multiple industries and backgrounds across the UK and have pleaded with Sunak to “address the economic imbalance of the current tax system which places a deeply unequal burden on working people”.

The group is part of a UK branch of the Patriotic Millionaires Movement, which is an organisation of Americans with high net worth who promote the restructuring of the American tax system so that wealthy people pay a greater share of their income in taxes. The signatories advised in their open letter “when deciding on how to meet the financial gap, look to us. Repairing our country is more valuable than growing our wealth.”

Could it happen?

According to research by Greenwich University, a wealth tax on the top 1% of UK households, those with fortunes of more than £3.6m, could generate at least £70bn a year in revenue to go towards rebuilding the UK’s economy post-Covid.

However, considering the Budget announced on 27th October, Rishi Sunak appears to not have heeded the suggestions of the millionaire signatories and the idea of a wealth tax has been dismissed by both himself and Boris Johnson.

Perhaps in the future, this is something we will see. Several countries in the world have begun adopting similar measures, including Argentina, Bolivia, and Morocco, to ensure the richest among us contribute the most to the financial recovery now that the worst of the pandemic appears to be behind us.

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