Taxing wealth: flattening inequalities

COVID-19 weakens our economy and worsens the inequalities crisis. To face this, we must give ourselves the means to build the future society that we want. One way to do this is with a better taxation. By taxing the richest, we can build a fairer, greener, and more inclusive society.


Together, let’s build a future of equality!

Honduran women

COVID-19 continues to affect us all. But not in the same way. The effects of the pandemic are felt more both by the poorest and by those who are the most marginalized.

The situation would be even worse without our public services and social safety nets. More people would fall into extreme poverty and more lives would be at risk.

By taxing the richest, we can build an equal future! By uniting our voices, we can act.

With the pandemic, inequality is growing


The wealth of the 10 richest men in the world have doubled during the pandemic


Inequality contributes to the death of at least one person every 4 seconds


Since the start of the pandemic, the world has a new billionaire every 26 hours

Source : « Inequality kills », Oxfam, report, 2022 lien externe

Just imagine! If we taxed 99% of the profits made by the 10 richest men in the world during the pandemic, they would still be $8 billion richer than they were two years ago. And, with this tax, we could finance:


des COVID-19 vaccines for the entire world


universal health care and social protection


adaptation to climate change


and resources to reduce gender-based violence in over 80 countries

The richest must pay their fair share

An economy that benefits everyone must be financed fairly. It is therefore essential that the wealthiest corporations and individuals pay their fair share. We call for a Canadian response to the COVID-19 crisis to be funded through wealth taxation and innovative tax justice measures that contribute to:


Raise taxes on the wealthiest among us

Significantly and immediately increase wealth taxes to help fund bailouts and economic stimulus packages, and temporarily tax excess profits for all companies that make extraordinary profits. For example, during World War I, Britain and the United States instituted an 80 percent tax rate on profits in excess of an 8 percent annual return.

tax havens

Recover money hidden in tax havens

  • Through a coordinated effort, adopt business taxes set at fair and appropriate rates, determined on a case-by-case basis by country, and based on a fair allocation of profits in each country
  • Accelerate the roll-out of automated information sharing mechanisms in developing countries
  • Publish reports on multinational corporations’ activities in every country of operation in order to recover money hidden in tax havens

Tax luxury goods and pollutants

Impose taxes on luxury goods and items that threaten the fight against climate change. Carbon emissions from the wealthy minority are a serious contributor to the creation of extreme weather conditions and hinder the global goal of limiting global warming.


Target Web giants

Activate a digital sales tax on businesses that rely heavily on digital, an idea popularly known as the “Netflix Tax”.

For an economy that benefits all

After the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009, many governments implemented austerity measures. In Quebec, Canada and around the world, cuts to public services have increased inequality. They have also weakened health care systems that are now crumbling under the weight of the pandemic.

Let’s not repeat the same mistakes. Our response to the pandemic must be should help to rebuild an economy that addresses inequality. Instead of taking care of the wealth of billionaires’ wealth, let’s focus on the people who need it most and the planet we live on.

Since the start of the pandemic, the world has a new billionaire every 26 hours. At the same time, an estimated 21,000 people die every day because of inequality. These deaths could be prevented by redistributing wealth. Together we can do something about it!

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Three measures to build a fairer, greener and more inclusive society

COVID-19 continues to affect us and paralyze part of our economy. But in some sectors, extraordinary profits are being generated. This money must be taxed in order to:


Continue to provide financial assistance to anyone who needs it

Although unprecedented financial assistance measures were put in place in recent months, we cannot stop there.

  • Maintaining various social relief benefits must be a priority.
  • These funds must be allocated directly to individuals, and be based on inclusive eligibility criteria
  • Bailout packages and economic recovery measures must take into account the everyday experiences of the most vulnerable segments– including women, who will be most severely impacted by this crisis

This should be the case here and elsewhere. Currently, only 20% of the world’s unemployed workers receive financial support. Without assistance, families in the world’s poorest countries have no social safety net. Canada must collaborate with other G20 countries to provide the necessary funding to achieve this objective.


Support struggling businesses

  • Supporting small and mid-sized business that create jobs but are poorly equipped to handle this crisis should be a priority.
  • Industry should not be given a blank cheque. : Financial support to businesses – whether offered as a bailout package or tax exemptions – must be contingent on their participation in a sustainable, people-centric economy.
  • Major corporations whose coffers have been filled by public funds must demonstrate their ability to implement measures to combat climate change, as well as policies that protect the interests of workers, taxpayers, and producers.

To build a fairer, greener economy after the pandemic, businesses must be required to:

  • Commit to implementing measures to limit global warming to 1.5°C.
  • Cap all dividends paid out to shareholders until these companies pay a living wage to their entire labour force, and invest significantly in the transition to a green economy.
  • Disclose the ratio between executive compensation and average employee salary, and set it at a maximum of 20.
  • Agree to collective bargaining, hold discussions with independent unions, and ensure female workers can express themselves effectively and confidently.
  • Establish quotas on Boards of Directors and executive committees to institute gender parity.
  • Close the wage gap between men and women.
  • Pay employees a living wage and advocate in favour of decent wages across their entire value chain.
  • Publish country-by-country profit reports to dispel any secrecy around the company’s activities in tax havens.

Take part in international public health efforts that address real needs

For citizens living in the world’s most underprivileged countries, the notion of unfettered access to clean water, or the ability to self-isolate at home, is inconceivable. This is where the fight against the coronavirus will likely be most difficult, and the pandemic’s highest death rates will probably occur.

Canada must deploy the necessary human, financial, and material resources required to respond to the UN’s call and eradicate this humanitarian crisis, which threatens the lives of some 40 million people. It must also collaborate with G20 nations to suspend debt service payments by emerging countries and take immediate action to implement preventive activities, administer coronavirus diagnostic tests, and deliver equipment, water, and hygiene and sanitation kits.

This is not simply an act of solidarity with vulnerable populations, but also a self-protection mechanism for all nations. Investing in a worldwide public health system is the most significant driver in the fight against inequalities.

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