UN Secretary-General António Guterres Monday agreed with several world leaders on the convenience to tax the wealthiest, so that States have more resources to support the vulnerable population which has been severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
A paradigm shift is needed to align the private sector with global goals to face future challenges, including those caused by Covid-19, Guterres said Monday at the Economic and Social Council Forum on Financing for Development.
The Portuguese Guterres added “the latest reports indicate that in the last year there has been an increase of five trillion dollars in the assets of the richest in the world. I urge governments to consider applying a solidarity or wealth tax to those who have benefited during the pandemic, to reduce extreme inequalities.
Guterres also favoured measures that would bring liquidity to the countries that need it, instead of pressing to collect debts which would require lightening instead. But we have to go beyond its lightening, he said.
The Secretary-General stood behind strengthening “the architecture of international debt to end the lethal cycles of debt waves, global debt crisis and lost decades.
Another priority action he proposed was investing in a new social contract, based on solidarity and investments in education, decent and green jobs, social protection and health systems that would form the basis of sustainable and inclusive development. This Forum must provide ambition and momentum, to finance a resilient, inclusive, equitable and sustainable future for all, he said.
In this regard, Argentina's government of President Alberto Fernández was ahead of its time when the “millionaire’s tax” was passed in early December last year.
The new taxation would affect mere 12,000 people of the country's 45 million and the government hoped to collect at that point up to US$ 3.7 billion to pour into the covid-19 relief efforts.