Inside Story

Can wealthy people help fight COVID-19?

A group of millionaires urges governments to raise taxes to fund a coronavirus recovery.

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday reported the largest single-day rise in coronavirus infections – almost a quarter of a million in 24 hours.

Many cities that had declared a tentative victory against COVID-19 have seen varying forms of lockdowns reimposed. The return of virus-related restrictions could be an economic disaster for many nations already suffering the results of the first round of closures.

While some governments have provided assistance to flatlining companies, others have chosen to spend big – to create jobs, encourage spending and reduce individuals’ debt. And some have chosen welfare and public sector cuts too.

Now a group of millionaires is saying cash – or at least some of it – should come from them.

The collective of 83 wealthy people around the globe has penned a letter calling themselves “Millionaires for Humanity”.

The headline: Raise taxes on people like us. Immediately. Substantially. Permanently.

How will governments respond to the millionaires’ call to action?

Presenter: Laura Kyle


Morris Pearl – chair of Patriotic Millionaires and participant in Millionaires for Humanity who has signed the petition

Arun Advani – assistant professor of economics and impact director of the CAGE Research Centre at the University of Warwick

Ana Caistor Arendar – head of inequality campaign and policy at Oxfam