'Tax 10% of millionaires' excess wealth to give poor Brits a huge social emergency fund'

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As the biggest fall in living standards in decades bites, the tales of suffering become ever more alarming.

Pensioners are spending the day on buses to keep warm.

Children are getting food poisoning as their parents turn off the fridge to keep bills down.

Desperate families are asking food banks for items that can be eaten cold because they can’t afford to heat their meals.

But for some, this isn’t a time of crisis at all. It’s boom time.

New figures show bonuses for bankers in the City of London are at a record high. They’re rising six times faster than wages.

There’s no justification for such fat-cat bonuses at any time – and certainly not during a cost-of-living crisis.

But those figures are no one-off.

The latest annual Rich List didn’t just show that Chancellor Rishi Sunak has joined the ranks as one of the country’s wealthiest people.

It revealed that Britain now has a record number of billionaires and that their wealth is soaring.

Over the last two years, Britain’s billionaires have increased their wealth on average by £220 million every single day.

While millions are struggling to keep their heads above water, the champagne corks are popping for the privileged few.

It’s clear to ordinary people that this wealth won’t be trickling down to them.

Our rigged economy means the vast riches in our society are increasingly funnelled into fewer and fewer hands.

The Tory Government acts like there is no alternative to this situation.

But there is and this week I have secured a debate in parliament to look at wealth taxes on the super-rich.

Wealth in our country is even more unequally distributed than income.

The richest one percent holds almost a quarter of UK wealth.

A fair tax system would ensure that those with the broadest shoulders pay the most.

Yet income from wealth is often taxed at lower rates than income from work.

Someone who lives off the income they get from share dividends pays less in tax than someone earning the same amount by going out to work for a living.

And the tax paid on profits when selling assets like a second home – known as Capital Gains Tax – is also paid at lower rates than income tax.

We need to put an end to this scandal.

Simply ending those two tax privileges enjoyed by the wealthiest people would raise £22bn per year. That’s nearly double the amount raised by the national insurance hikes on working people introduced in April.

But beyond making current taxes fairer, it is time for a new one-off tax on the very wealthy.

A one-off 10% tax on any wealth above £10m could raise £86bn, according to the UK Wealth Tax Commission.

Such a tax would hit far less than 1% of the population.

But it could create a huge social emergency fund to help get people through this crisis.

It could also help rebuild left-behind areas hit by a decade of cuts and austerity.

The Tories are engaging in a simple form of class warfare, letting the wealthiest off the hook while hiking the taxes on millions of workers who face a cost-of-living emergency.

There is an alternative to this. It’s time for a wealth tax on the very richest.

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