THE UK Government is being urged to make 2023 the year they levy a wealth tax against the super-rich and use the revenue to support those struggling amid the cost of living crisis.
The Scottish Greens have said it is “only right” that those with “frankly obscene levels of personal wealth” should be taxed so that “we can provide essential support to those who are struggling”.
And according to research from the Tax Justice Network, a 1% annual wealth tax on net assets over £10 million could raise nearly £10 billion a year while impacting just the richest 0.4% of the population.
Meanwhile, it is estimated that scrapping the “non-dom” tax status could raise a further £3.2bn a year.
The calls follow an announcement in last month’s Budget that income tax in Scotland would be increasing by 1p on the highest earners.
Commenting, Scottish Greens finance spokesperson, Ross Greer, said that “with plummeting temperatures and increasing bills, millions of households are struggling”, adding: “Meanwhile, just as they did through the pandemic, the super-rich have become even richer. 2023 must be the year we change that gross injustice.”
He continued: “We are in the worst cost of living crisis for generations, and it is only right that those with frankly obscene levels of personal wealth should have that taxed so that we can provide essential support to those who are struggling.
“The recovery we build must be fair and just. We can’t continue with a system where the vast majority of wealth is in the hands of a tiny number of people.
“That is why, with Scottish Greens in government, we have ensured that Scotland has the fairest and most progressive income tax system anywhere in the UK. This has allowed us to provide hundreds of millions of pounds worth of investment in the services that we all rely on."
Greer went on to say that taxing income “misses the vast majority of the money accumulated by the super-rich every year” which is why “taxing their overall wealth is so important”.
He added: “Unfortunately, when it comes to taxing wealth and assets, the most important powers all lie with the same Tory UK Government which has removed the cap on bankers' bonuses and only governs in the interest of its wealthy donors.
“It is time for Rishi Sunak and Jeremy Hunt to break with the habit of a lifetime and finally put people and services ahead of the swelling bank balances of their millionaire friends and provide the support that is so badly needed.”
A UK Treasury Spokesperson said: “Our priority is to restore economic stability in the fairest way possible, which is why we have protected the most vulnerable and those with the broadest shoulders – from businesses to individuals – will bear more of the burden as we halve inflation this year.
“The income tax system is highly progressive. The top 5% are projected to pay half of all income tax in 2022-23 and the top 1% are projected to pay over 28% of all income tax in 2022-23.
“We’ve also lowered the additional rate threshold, the point where income starts being taxed at 45%, from £150,000 to £125,140, ensuring the highest-earning households contribute a higher proportion of overall tax liabilities.”