In an open letter shared Monday, the signatories wrote that problems caused and revealed by COVID-19 "can't be solved with charity, no matter how generous."
"We are not driving the ambulances that will bring the ill to hospitals. We are not restocking grocery store shelves or delivering food door to door. But we do have money, lots of it," said the signatories, who call themselves Millionaires for Humanity.
Calls for a permanent tax increase
The means to rebuild the world's health systems, schools, and security can only be obtained through "a permanent tax increase on the wealthiest people on the planet, people like us," the letter said.
"Millions of people will lose their jobs as businesses close, some permanently," the millionaires warned. "Government leaders must take the responsibility for raising the funds we need and spending them fairly."
The letter was released ahead of a meeting of G20 finance ministers and a summit of EU leaders later this week.
Ice cream barons and movie directors
Prominent signatories of the letter included German start-up investor and philanthropist Dr. Mariana Bozesan, British screenwriter and director Richard Curtis, former BlackRock Inc. managing director Morris Pearl, Danish-Iranian entrepreneur Djaffar Shalchi, Walt Disney heiress Abigail Disney, and co-founder of the ice cream brand Ben & Jerry's, Jerry Greenfield.
The letter was a collaborative effort between groups that included Oxfam, Tax Justice UK, and Patriotic Millionaires, an organization of high-net-worth US individuals.
"Please," the letter ended. "Tax us. Tax us. Tax us. It is the right choice. It is the only choice. Humanity is more important than our money."
kp/sms (AFP, KNA)