BRIEF: Eat the rich? No, tax them!

room, money, dollar

In an economy as depressing and financially strained as ours, it’s tempting to say, “eat the rich”, in the infamous words of Genevan philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau. But a group of academics have a better idea: tax them! An annual tax on SA’s richest people could raise over R160bn for SA, a new report by groups including the World Inequality Lab, led by inequality experts like Thomas Piketty shows. Business Day reported that a “wealth tax” like this could narrow inequality in SA, where the richest 1% of the nation owns 55% of personal wealth.

SA’s wealth inequality is reportedly worse than that of France, the US, the UK, Russia, China or India!

The proposed tax would affect the richest 1%, affecting around 350 000 people. And SA could really use the extra cash. The experts say that adding R160 bn to the fiscus would be a serious boon to our cash-strapped national purse. Anyone else feeling a little bit peckish?

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