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US billionaires call for new wealth tax

Hot air balloonsA group of billionaires in America have written a letter to presidential candidates calling for the super-rich to face a new wealth tax.

The signatories include some of the richest people in the US, from investor George Soros and Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, to Molly Munger, daughter of Berkshire Hathaway vice chairman Charlie Munger.

While the group says it is not backing any particular candidate or party, it believes a wealth tax could help combat the issues of inequality and climate change in the US.

Their letter reads: “America has a moral, ethical and economic responsibility to tax our wealth more.

“A wealth tax could help address the climate crisis, improve the economy, improve health outcomes, fairly create opportunity, and strengthen our democratic freedoms. Instituting a wealth tax is in the interest of our republic.”

The latest news, views and analysis on tax from Money Marketing

Munger’s firm, Berkshire Hathaway, is headed up by renowned billionaire investor Warren Buffett. The letters notes that the firm’s secretary will be taxed higher than Buffett himself.

The 18 signatories to the letter add that proposals by the likes of Elizabeth Warren, the Democratic senator, to increase taxes on assets above $50m (£39.2m), could a step in the right direction.

The letter reads: “Today, major policies seldom come to pass without the prior support of wealthy elites or other wealthy interests. Division and dissatisfaction are exacerbated by inequality, leading to higher levels of distrust in democratic institutions-and worse.”

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