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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