Connect with us

Support The NewsHawks

Economy

Zim badly needs wealth tax

Published

on

ZIMBABWE could raise US$65 million a year through annual wealth tax, enough to increase public health expenditure by 21%, a new report reveals.

DUMISANI NYONI

According to the report released by Oxfam Southern Africa, there is only one billionaire in the country, Strive Masiyiwa (pictured), and his wealth has reached US$2.3 billion.

Masiyiwa is the founder and executive chairperson of the international technology group Econet Global.

Throughout the pandemic (beginning in mid-March 2020), his wealth increased US$1.12 billion.

“The wealth of the sole billionaire increased 94.9% during the pandemic. He owns more wealth than the bottom 8.8 million Zimbabweans,” the report reads in part.

“An annual wealth tax on the wealthiest individual in Zimbabwe would raise US$65 million a year (with rates at 5% on wealth over US$1 billion).”

“An annual wealth tax at a rate of 5% applied to the wealth of the richest person in the country would raise US$65 million a year, enough to increase public health expenditure by 21%,” it said.

Oxfam said a more progressive wealth tax would raise US$130 million (with rates at 10% on wealth over US$1 billion).

Calls for the governments around the world to introduce wealth tax on the wealthiest individuals is growing louder.

A coalition of 18 lobby groups under the banner of the Zimbabwe Fight Inequality Alliance has been urging the government to introduce wealth tax to address economic inequality and developmental deficits.

The alliance says Zimbabwe has a taxation system which penalises the poor and vulnerable.

The Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (Zimcodd) has been calling for the introduction of wealth tax, arguing that the country has a tax administration system that is rigged in favour of the rich and political elites at the expense of the poor.

By so doing, the organisation says, the government is operating in violation of section 298 (1)(b)(i) of the constitution of Zimbabwe which stipulates that the burden of taxation must be shared fairly.

Zimcodd said the government must introduce and implement a tax to facilitate the redistribution of wealth to the benefit of the suffering majority.

“The consolidation of wealth and economic power in the hands of few economic and political elites in Zimbabwe has over the years facilitated the massive transfer of public wealth and economic opportunities in the hands of the few,” Zimcodd said in its latest statement.

“Public wealth and economic opportunities are pocketed by 10% of Zimbabweans at the expense of the majority 90% of citizens who are struggling to put food on the table.”

Oxfam said the five richest billionaires in Africa saw their wealth increase by a third (US$9.7 billion) during the pandemic while 39 million people are estimated to have been pushed into extreme poverty in sub-Saharan Africa.

These are Aliko Dangote, Nassef Sawiris, Nicky Oppenheimer, Mike Adenuga and Abdulsamad Rabiu. The five richest billionaires own more wealth (US$45.8 billion) than the bottom 678 million (half of Africa) Africans (US$41.9 billion).

Zimcodd said an annual wealth tax in Africa would raise US$19.87 billion a year (with rates at 2% on wealth over US$5 million, 3% on wealth over US$50 million and 5% on wealth over US$1 billion).

A more progressive wealth tax would raise US$27.28 billion (with rates at 2% on wealth over US$5 million, 5% on wealth over US$50 million and 10% on wealth over US$1 billion).

The organisation said an annual wealth tax applied to the wealth of multi-millionaires and billionaires would raise US$19.87 billion a year, enough to increase African public health expenditure by 38% or reduce out-of-pocket health expenditure by nearly a half (46%).

The world’s 10 richest men more than doubled their fortunes from US$700 billion to US$1.5 trillion — at a rate of US$15 000 per second or US$1.3 billion a day — during the first two years of a pandemic that has seen the incomes of 99% of humanity fall and over 160 million more people forced into poverty, according to Oxfam.

The 10 richest men are Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Bernard Arnault & family, Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Ballmer and Warren Buffet.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Advertisement

Popular