Taxing our 17 billionaires will not fix inequality

Efforts to confront inequality must also build solidarity

Oxfam Ireland has estimated that a 1.5 per cent wealth tax on Irish billionaires could raise more than €700 million in revenue and a tax on Irish millionaires owning more than €4 million could raise €4 billion. Photograph: PM Images/Iconica/Getty

Oxfam Ireland has estimated that a 1.5 per cent wealth tax on Irish billionaires could raise more than €700 million in revenue and a tax on Irish millionaires owning more than €4 million could raise €4 billion. Photograph: PM Images/Iconica/Getty

The newly-released Oxfam report has asked governments to impose a one-off 99.9 per cent tax on the 10 richest men in the world, which would still leave those men with more wealth than 99 per cent of the rest of the world. Oxfam Ireland has estimated that a 1.5 per cent wealth tax on Irish billionaires could raise more than €700 million in revenue and a tax on Irish millionaires owning more than €4 million could raise €4 billion.

Tax and the redistribution of income are necessary to reduce inequality, but they are not enough. The political tensions and escalating threats to democracy in the United States demonstrate why any policies aiming to confront inequality must also build solidarity.

The Irish Times
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