New study shows small wealth tax could increase tax revenues across EU by nearly quarter of a trillion euros
Today, the Greens/EFA Group are publishing a new report highlighting the amounts of tax revenue that European countries could garner through a small tax on the wealthiest 0.5%. The study finds that even a tax of 1.7-3.5% could bring in as much as €213.3 billion to national coffers. As some of the wealthiest individuals often hide their wealth offshore, the study also looks into those potential revenues and finds that there would be an additional €59.5 billion by combating secrecy jurisdictions. The study goes on to highlight how this money could be used across the EU. For example, the report finds this additional revenue could cover: 85% of each EU households’ energy bills; or double the salary of primary school teachers in the EU; or increase all nurses’ salaries in the EU by 50%.
Kira Peter-Hansen MEP, Greens/EFA Group Vice Chair of the Committee on Tax Matters, comments:
“European policy makers are always looking to find creative ways to tackle the challenges ordinary citizens face, while ignoring the elephant in the room. We can only face down the problems of poverty, social cohesion and climate change if we start to address the inequalities in our system. A small and progressive wealth tax could give national budgets the boost they need. Inequality will continue to grow so long as we do nothing about it. What we are proposing isn’t radical, it’s logical and essential.
“The first step is transparency: Right now, governments simply don’t know the extent of their residents' wealth. The very rich, the corrupt and criminals have all spent too long hiding their wealth offshore through shady shell companies and dodgy secrecy laws. The EU must address loopholes and secrecy laws in jurisdictions worldwide that allow EU citizens to hide their activity and wealth.
“We cannot continue to sit and watch as the world burns while the world’s richest fly around on private jets, while saying nothing can be done. It is possible to have a future with a fairer society that works for all, while fighting the climate crisis. But that future must start with bold but essential steps like a progressive wealth tax.”
The study, which can be found here, also addresses myths about wealth tax, for example, by finding that a wealth tax would not cause a significant relocation of the wealthiest individuals outside of the EU.
The study looked at the temporary solidarity wealth tax that Spain introduced earlier this year and replicated it across EU Member States.