Former presidents from around the world ask the G20 to support the tax for millionaires

Former presidents from around the world ask the G20 to support the tax for millionaires

Former presidents and prime ministers have sent an open letter to the current leaders of the world’s 20 largest economies in which they urge support for a global tax on billionaires, which they describe as a rare political opportunity.

The initiative comes at a time when the Brazilian presidency of the G20, which put the proposal on the table in February, is trying to drum up support for a statement at a meeting of the group’s finance ministers and central bank governors later this month in Rio de Janeiro.

Signed by 19 members of the Club of Madrid, a forum of former leaders with more than 100 participants, lThe letter praises US President Joe Biden’s income tax proposal for billionaires but calls for joint cooperation to combat tax evasion by the richest.

“A global agreement to tax the super-rich would be a shot in the arm for multilateralism – showing that countries can come together for the common good,” the letter said.

Among the signatories, coming from across the political spectrum, Among them are Chilean Michelle Bachelet, Swede Stefan Lofven, Spaniards Felipe González and José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, Frenchman Dominique de Villepin, Canadian Kim Campbell, Australian Julia Gillard and South Korean Han Seung-soo.

Brazil’s proposal, drawn up by French economist Gabriel Zucman of the European Union’s independent Fiscal Observatory, It provides for an annual tax of 2% on fortunes exceeding US$1 billion, which could raise up to US$250 billion annually from 3,000 individuals.

Although the communiqué from the last G7 meeting, held in June, stated that the group would continue to collaborate with the Brazilian presidency of the G20 to enhance international cooperation and boost efforts towards progressive taxation and equitable treatment of natural persons, some countries have already raised objections.

In May, German Finance Minister Christian Lindner said his country was very skeptical about new components of a global fiscal agenda,while US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the United States could not support negotiations involving the redistribution of revenue between countries.

France, Spain, Colombia, Belgium, the African Union and South Africa, which will assume the G20 presidency next year, have already supported the initiative.