Wealthy individuals, calling themselves Millionaires for Humanity, in an open letter on Monday called on governments to increase taxes on rich people to help cope with the coronavirus pandemic and its consequences.
“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. Today, we, the undersigned millionaires, ask our governments to raise taxes on people like us. Immediately. Substantially. Permanently”, the letter read.
According to the signatories, the impact of the pandemic will be long-lasting, possibly for decades, and may push millions of people into poverty, as many of them have already lost their jobs due to coronavirus-related restrictions. In addition, there are nearly a billion children who are not attending school and, at the same time, many of them have no access to learning resources to study from home.
Apart from that, the inadequate amount of investments made in public health systems across the world have resulted in the absence of hospital beds, protective masks, and ventilators necessary to help fight the pandemic.
“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. We can ensure we adequately fund our health systems, schools, and security through a permanent tax increase on the wealthiest people on the planet, people like us”, the letter said.
The letter was signed by more than 80 individuals, including Walt Disney Co. heiress Abigail Disney, UK screenwriter Richard Curtis, and Ben and Jerry’s ice cream co-founder Jerry Greenfield.