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Friday, June 21, 2024

Eye Watering Rich List Shows Why we Need a Wealth Tax

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The case for a wealth tax is unanswerable and growing every day, says the Scottish Greens finance spokesperson, Ross Greer.

His comments come as the Sunday Times has published its annual Rich List showing that the 350 richest people in the UK own more than £795 billion in wealth.

According to research from the Tax Justice Network, a 1% annual wealth tax on net assets over £10 million could raise almost £10 billion a year while only impacting the richest 0.4% of the population.

Mr Greer said:

“It is staggering that such vast, eye watering sums of wealth are controlled by such a tiny number of people.

“Nobody needs more money than they could spend in a hundred lifetimes, and some of the ways it was made were extremely dubious; with the usual cast of bloated plutocrats, predatory asset strippers and corporate crooks who have often gotten rich from the suffering of people with far less, and the exploitation of our planet.

“At the same time, all over our country there are households and families struggling through a cost of living crisis which is forcing them to go without basic essentials.

“There is more than enough money in the UK to ensure that everyone can grow up with warmth and security, but so much of it is in the hands of a small number of obscenely rich people rather than those who need it.

“The case for a wealth tax is unanswerable, and is growing every day.

“The Scottish Greens have ensured that Scotland has the fairest and most progressive tax system anywhere in the UK.

“By asking those with the most to pay a little bit more we have delivered an extra £1.5 billion every year for the services we all rely on like schools and the NHS.

“While fairly taxing income is crucial, it misses the vast majority of the money that is accumulated by the super-rich every year.

“That is why taking action to tax their overall wealth is so important.

“Unfortunately the most important powers and levers are in the hand of a multimillionaire Prime Minister who only acts in the interest of his banker friends and rich donors.

“In the years to come people will look back at such grotesque excess and greed with horror, and ask why it was allowed to get so out of control.

“I hope we can tell them what we did to tackle it, and the role that fairer and more progressive taxes played in building a fairer, greener and better society.”

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