EU Wealth Tax on Ultra-Rich can fund Affordable Housing and Climate Action

25 May 2024
  • Research shows wealth tax on Billionaires could raise up to €40 billion a year for the EU.
  • EU needs extra funding for the climate transition and a European Plan for Affordable Housing.
  • Proposal was put on the recent G20 agenda by Brazil and has backing of several EU Ministers

Labour European Parliament candidate for Dublin Aodhán Ó Ríordáin said a global wealth tax on the ultra-rich must be on the agenda of the next European Parliament to fund the climate transition and a European plan for affordable housing.

As a minimum tax on corporations begins to come into effect he said now was the time for the EU to back the growing global campaign to take on tax avoiding billionaires.

Deputy Ó Ríordáin said:

“If we want the EU to do more, than it will need more funding. We face enormous challenges around how we finance the future, and how to put the EU on a sustainable financial footing.

“Brazil put a billionaire wealth tax on the recent G20 agenda by inviting renowned economist Gabrel Zucman to present his work about how such a global tax on the ultra-rich would work.

“Many said it would be impossible to achieve but a global minimum corporation tax rate of 15% is in the process of being implemented, so we know that with enough pressure we can ensure the richest pay their fair share.

“The ultra rich have perfected the ability to avoid tax, and research has shown effective personal tax rates of between 0% and 0.5% of their wealth.

“They are highly mobile around the globe, and the wealth of the richest has been rising by 7-8% a year. Calculations by Zucman show a levy of 2% on Europe’s 500 billionaires would raise over €40 billion. Now is the time for action.

“This is not a pipedream. The French Finance Minister has endorsed the idea, and I’m proud that Economic Ministers from Labour’s sister parties in Spain and Germany has also called for it. Outside of Europe, Brazil and South Africa have backed it.

“Electing an Irish voice to join the largest progressive force in Europe will ensure we can influence the next steps of a global campaign to ensure global tax fairness.

“It took years and a global recession before enough political will developed to tackle multinational tax avoidance but it is now finally happening. It’s time now for a global wealth tax, and the EU should lead the way.

“If we are to meet the challenge of climate change we urgently need to invest today in renewable energy, decarbonisation, nature restoration and new technologies, and energy efficiency renovations. We can’t afford to put this off. Europe needs billions of extra euro to do this.

“In the next parliament if elected as an MEP one of my key priorities will be delivering a European Plan for Affordable Housing but to do that also will need extra money. By taxing just a quarter of the annual gains of billionaires we can put the financial resources in place to invest in secure and affordable homes across Europe.”

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