Tories must finally introduce wealth tax to help people struggling with cost crisis

2023 must be the year in which the UK government finally levies a wealth tax against the super-rich, using the billions it would raise to provide vital support to those struggling with the cost crisis, say the Scottish Greens.

According to research from the Tax Justice Network, a 1% annual wealth tax on net assets over £10 million could raise nearly £10 billion a year while only impacting the richest 0.4% of the population. Scrapping the 'non-dom' tax status favoured by infamous tax avoiders could raise a further £3.2 billion a year.

The call follows an announcement in last month’s budget that income tax in Scotland would be increasing by 1p on the highest earners. Even prior to the budget, Scotland already had the most progressive income tax levels in the UK thanks to changes made by the Scottish Greens in 2018.

Scottish Greens finance spokesperson, Ross Greer MSP, said:

“With plummeting temperatures and increasing bills, millions of households are struggling through a long and difficult winter. Meanwhile, just as they did through the pandemic, the super-rich have become even richer. 2023 must be the year we change that gross injustice.

“We are in the worst cost of living crisis for generations, and it is only right that those with frankly obscene levels of personal wealth should have that taxed so that we can provide essential support to those who are struggling.

“The recovery we build must be fair and just. We can’t continue with a system where the vast majority of wealth is in the hands of a tiny number of people.

“That is why, with Scottish Greens in government, we have ensured that Scotland has the fairest and most progressive income tax system anywhere in the UK. This has allowed us to provide hundreds of millions of pounds worth of investment in the services that we all rely on.

"Taxing income misses the vast majority of the money accumulated by the super-rich every year though, which is why taxing their overall wealth is so important.

“Unfortunately, when it comes to taxing wealth and assets, the most important powers all lie with the same Tory UK government which has removed the cap on bankers bonuses and only governs in the interest of its wealthy donors.

“It is time for Rishi Sunak and Jeremy Hunt to break with the habit of a lifetime and finally put people and services ahead of the swelling bank balances of their millionaire friends and provide the support that is so badly needed.

"In the coming weeks the Scottish Greens will lay out how an independent Scotland could use the full financial and taxation powers of a normal country to build the fairer society which we believe most people here want to see.

"With families struggling right now though, and this power currently resting at Westminster, we are urging the Prime Minister to prove our scepticism of his administration wrong and bring in a UK-wide wealth tax immediately."

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