Jeremy Vine: Viewer condemns panellist for claims of inequality
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Over 200 members of the super-rich elite are calling on governments to “tax us, the ultra rich, now” in order to help billions of people struggling with the ongoing cost of living crisis. On Wednesday, the group of 205 millionaires and billionaires, including Disney heiress Abigail Disney and the Hulk actor Mark Ruffalo, called on world leaders and business leaders in Davos, Switzerland for the world economic forum to introduce taxes to tackle “extreme inequality”.
In an open letter the group said that to defend democracy it was essential to tackle extreme wealth to “build fairer economies” after five decades when wealth had only gone upwards.
They said: “The current lack of action is gravely concerning.
“A meeting of the ‘global elite’ in Davos to discuss ‘cooperation in a fragmented world’ is pointless if you aren’t challenging the root cause of division.
“Defending democracy and building cooperation requires action to build fairer economies right now – it is not a problem that can be left for our children to fix.
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“Now is the time to tackle extreme wealth; now is the time to tax the ultra rich.
“The history of the last five decades is a story of wealth flowing nowhere but upwards.
“In the last few years, this trend has greatly accelerated …The solution is plain for all to see.
“You, our global representatives, have to tax us, the ultra rich, and you have to start now.”
The group who call themselves the Patriotic Millionaires warned that inaction could have catastrophic consequences as governments may eventually face open revolt from their citizens.
They said: “There’s only so much stress any society can take, only so many times mothers and fathers will watch their children go hungry while the ultra rich contemplate their growing wealth.
“The cost of action is much cheaper than the cost of inaction – it’s time to get on with the job.”
New research has shown that almost two-thirds of the wealth created since the start of the coronavirus pandemic has gone to the richest one percent of the population.
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According to the development charity Oxfam, the super wealthy had pocketed $26tn (£21tn) up to the end of 2021.
Oxfam added that the rise in extreme wealth was being mirrored by an increase in extreme poverty for the first time in a quarter of a century.
The charity added that a five percent tax on on the world’s multimillionaires and billionaires could raise $1.7tn a year which would be enough to lift two billion people out of poverty and fund a global plan to eradicate global hunger.
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