Campaign by EU parliamentarians: Call for a global tax for the ultra-rich

Status: 03/14/2023 11:52 a.m

In 2021, more than 130 countries had agreed on a global minimum tax for multinational companies. Numerous MEPs are now demanding something similar for private individuals: They want an international tax for the ultra-rich.

A group of MEPs is calling for a global tax on the ultra-rich, similar to that on multinationals. “What we did with the multinationals, we must now do with the rich,” said MPs Aurore Lalucq and Gabriel Zucman in an opinion piece in the French newspaper Le Monde.

The campaign is supported by more than 130 members of the European Parliament. “Our proposal is simple: introduce a progressive tax on the wealth of the ultra-rich internationally to reduce inequalities while helping fund investments needed for green and social transition,” the article reads.

As an example, the signatories cited Tesla owner Elon Musk, who in 2018 became the second richest person in the world and “didn’t pay a single cent in federal taxes”. As another example, they cited France, which is known for its high taxes, but where “the 370 richest families actually only pay about 2 to 3 percent in taxes.”

1.5 percent tax rate from 50 million assets

More than 130 countries, which together account for 90 percent of global economic output, agreed on a minimum tax rate of 15 percent in 2021 to prevent large international corporations from settling where they pay the least. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) negotiated the agreement at the time.

Lalucq and Zucman called on the OECD, the United Nations (UN) and the EU to develop a similar tax for the world’s richest people. They proposed a tax rate of 1.5 percent for assets of 50 million euros or more. Most signatories to the proposal are members of the green and left-wing groups in the European Parliament. They are supported by non-governmental organizations such as Oxfam, as well as business experts and 20 millionaires.

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