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Three in four Indians back taxing the super-rich: survey

Study shows overwhelming public support for taxing the super-rich to address global inequality, hunger, and the climate crisis

Three in four Indians back taxing the super-rich: survey
[Source photo: Chetan Jha/Press Insider]

About three in four Indians are in favor of taxing the wealthy, indicating overwhelming public support for taxing the super-rich to address global inequality, hunger, and the climate crisis, according to a survey.

About 78% Indians supported the implementation of a higher income tax rate for wealthy people to fund economic reforms and improve living standards, according to the survey that was conducted across 17 nations in the group of 20, or G20.

The study, published by Earth4All and Global Commons Alliance, also shared that of the overall 22,000 people surveyed, support for a “wealth tax” was the highest in Indonesia at 86%, followed by Turkey at 78%, the United Kingdom at 77%, and India at 74%.

The release of the survey on public sentiment comes ahead of the upcoming meeting of G20 finance ministers in Brazil next month, where a wealth tax will be on agenda for the first time, as the world’s leading economies will discuss strategies to grapple with economic and environmental challenges.

Owen Gaffney, co-lead at Earth4All, said in a statement that Indians wanted a giant leap on climate and nature.

“68% demand dramatic reforms across economic sectors within the next decade. This is a strong mandate for planetary stewardship that cannot be ignored,” he said.

Indians hoped for a fair economic transformation, according to Gaffney.

“74% support taxing wealth. Tax on high incomes, and corporations to fund climate initiatives, alongside a ‘polluter pays’ approach with income redistribution are also strongly supported,” he added.

India also led the G20 in support for a universal basic income (UBI), according to the survey, with the biggest share of supporters at 71%, exceeding the G20 average of 52%.

“In India, support for progressive policies is overwhelming: 71% endorse UBI, 74% support policies that encourage healthy diets to cut emissions, and 76% seek better work-life balance. Among G20 countries, India shows the strongest support for a universal basic income,” said Gaffney.

About 80% of the Indians surveyed also supported investments in green energy, energy efficiency, clean transport and reducing pollution in industry, compared to the G20 average of 74%.

The “polluter pays” approach also was manifested in the survey as 77% of Indians supported higher taxes on polluters, with the revenue directed towards those who pollute less.

This put India third among G20 countries in advocating for this approach to environmental protection.

India also ranked third on the list of G20 countries with 77% of the surveyed supporting the notion that people and companies that pollute the environment by causing greenhouse gas emissions should pay higher taxes, with the money raised shared

among people and companies who pollute less.

“Science demands a giant leap to address the planetary crisis, climate change and to protect nature. And 71% of citizens in 18 G20 countries surveyed support immediate action within the next decade to reduce carbon emissions,” said Jane Madgwick, executive director at the Global Commons Alliance.

 India also ranked second among G20 nations in public approval for government decisions, as 74% of the people surveyed agreed that the government can be trusted to make decisions for the benefit of the majority of people, way higher than the G20 average of 39%. Saudi Arabia led the pack at 80%.

Earlier this year, in January, more than 250 billionaires and millionaires across 17 nations demanded the political elite that met for the World Economic Forum in Davos to introduce wealth taxes that will help pay for better public services around the world.

“Our request is simple: we ask you to tax us, the very richest in society,” the wealthy people said in an open letter to world leaders. “This will not fundamentally alter our standard of living, nor deprive our children, nor harm our nations’ economic growth. But it will turn extreme and unproductive private wealth into an investment for our common democratic future.”

The signatories included Disney heir Abigail Disney, Brian Cox who played fictional billionaire Logan Roy in Succession, and Valerie Rockefeller, an heir to the US dynasty.


Shireen Khan is a Senior Correspondent at Press Insider. She covers lifestyle, culture, and health. More

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