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83 millionaires sign letter asking governments to tax them more to fund COVID-19 recovery efforts

Signatories include the likes of Disney heirs Abigail and Tim Disney, Ben & Jerry's co-founder Jerry Greenfield, and 'Love, Actually' director Richard Curtis.

83 millionaires sign letter asking governments to tax them more to fund COVID-19 recovery efforts
Cover Image Source: (L) Abigail Disney on November 1, 2018, in New York City. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Women's Media Center) (R) Richard Curtis on December 13, 2019, in London, England. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for Global Citi

83 of the world's richest individuals are urging governments to raise taxes for the ultra-rich in society—themselves included—to help pay for the havoc wreaked by the coronavirus outbreak. In an open letter titled 'Millionaires for Humanity,' the group called for "permanent" change as they warned that the impact of the pandemic will last for decades. "Today, we, the undersigned millionaires, ask our governments to raise taxes on people like us. Immediately. Substantially. Permanently," the urged in the letter. Signatories include the likes of Disney heirs Abigail and Tim Disney, Ben & Jerry's co-founder Jerry Greenfield, and Love, Actually director Richard Curtis.



"As Covid-19 strikes the world, millionaires like us have a critical role to play in healing our world. 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 begins.



"The impact of this crisis will last for decades. It could push half a billion more people into poverty. Hundreds of millions of people will lose their jobs as businesses close, some permanently," they warned. "Already, there are nearly a billion children out of school, many with no access to the resources they need to continue their learning. And of course, the absence of hospital beds, protective masks, and ventilators is a painful, daily reminder of the inadequate investment made in public health systems across the world. 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 signatories pointed out that a permanent tax increase on the wealthiest people on the planet will help "adequately fund" health systems, schools, and security. "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. At the vanguard of this fight are our health care workers, 70 percent of whom are women. They confront the deadly virus each day at work while bearing the majority of responsibility for unpaid work at home. The risks these brave people willingly embrace every day in order to care for the rest of us requires us to establish a new, real commitment to each other and to what really matters," they stated.



"Our interconnectedness has never been more clear. We must rebalance our world before it is too late. There will not be another chance to get this right. Unlike tens of millions of people around the world, we do not have to worry about losing our jobs, our homes, or our ability to support our families. We are not fighting on the frontlines of this emergency and we are much less likely to be its victims. So please. Tax us. Tax us. Tax us. It is the right choice. It is the only choice. Humanity is more important than our money," the letter concludes.



According to BBC, millionaires from across seven countries—including the US, Germany, the UK, Canada, and New Zealand—have added their names to the letter. It was released ahead of the G20 finance ministers and central bank governors' meeting scheduled for this weekend. This effort was reportedly organized by Oxfam, Patriotic Millionaires, Human Act, Tax Justice UK, Club of Rome, Resource Justice, and Bridging Ventures.

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