A group of millionaires have demanded that the World Economic Forum, currently meeting at Davos in Switzerland, do more to tax people like themselves who have vast amounts of money in order to tackle poverty and growing inequality.
The group, who describe themselves as ‘Patriotic Millionaires‘, are asking governments to ‘tax us now’ to help fight the multiple crises the world is facing, such as climate change, increasing poverty, and huge inequality.
Phil White, of the UK branch of the Patriotic Millionaires, said:
“While the rest of the world is collapsing under the weight of an economic crisis, billionaires and world leaders meet in this private compound to discuss turning points in history. It’s outrageous that our political leaders listen to those who have the most, know the least about the economic impact of this crisis, and many of whom pay infamously little in taxes. The only credible outcome from this conference is to tax the richest and tax us now. Tax the delegates attending Davos 2022.”
In the UK, there are 177 billionaires with a combined fortune of £653bn, while hundreds of thousands of people are going hungry or without energy in the UK due to soaring inflation and a cost-of-living crisis.
Another millionaire, Marlene Engelhorn, told why she joined the protests, saying:
“As someone who has enjoyed the benefits of wealth my whole life, I know how skewed our economy is and I cannot continue to sit back and wait for someone, somewhere, to do something. I feel there is no option left for us other than to take action. Our governments continue to do nothing to address gross inequality and instead meet behind closed doors in this spectacle of private wealth. We have hit the end of the line when another quarter of a billion people will be pushed into extreme poverty this year. It’s time to rebalance the world. It’s time to tax the rich.”
While Danish multimillionaire Djaffar Shalchi added:
“You don’t win people’s trust by holding events like Davos, where the world’s rich and powerful meet behind layers of security. The most significant thing Davos participants could do to actually win people’s trust is to acknowledge that the wealth and privilege they represent and protect, is incompatible with a world where everyone can live full and prosperous lives.”
[Based on reporting by: The Guardian]