A group of 83 of the richest people in the world have called for “our governments to raise taxes on people like us” to help fund the economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, according to The Guardian.
In the letter, which was shared with the British newspaper, the signatories called for the increases to take effect “Immediately. Substantially. Permanently”
“As Covid-19 strikes the world, millionaires like us have a critical role to play in healing our world,” the letter reads in part. “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.”
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The letter went on to claim that the fallout from the pandemic will “last for decades” and could “push half a billion more people into poverty.”
Also Monday, the United Nations said the ranks of the world’s hungry grew by 10 million last year and warned that the coronavirus could push as many as 130 million more people into chronic hunger this year.
The grim assessment was contained in the latest edition of the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World, an annual report released by five U.N. agencies.
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Preliminary projections based on available global economic outlooks suggest the pandemic “may add an additional 83 (million) to 132 million people to the ranks of the undernourished in 2020,” the report said.
The letter demands worldwide governments “address global inequality and acknowledge that tax increases on the wealthy and greater international tax transparency are essential for a viable long-term solution.”
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“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 letter said. “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.”
Signatories include Ben and Jerry’s ice cream co-founder Jerry Greenfield, Disney heirs Tim and Abigail Disney, British screenwriter and film director Richard Curtis,
The Associated Press contributed to this report.