As wealth disparity and inequality grows we’re increasingly aware of the methods the elites employ to avoid tax and cheat the system. So, is there anything we can do about it?
The actor – believed to be worth about £7m – joins a list of wealthy people calling for governments to tax the rich more heavily.
Other signatories include the Notting Hill and Love Actually screenwriter Richard Curtis, Richard Reed, co-founder of Innocent Drinks, and the former chief executive of Unilever, Paul Polman.
Pegg, 49, whose films include Hot Fuzz and Run Fatboy Run, describes inequality as a “policy choice” and “not inevitable”.
He says half the world’s population is trying to survive on £4.20 a day or less, according to estimates, and that the “rate of poverty reduction has halved since 2013”.
Meanwhile, the number of billionaires has doubled in the last decade, he writes in The Times.
Taking a dig at world leaders, he says that fixing the “broken economy” might “feel too complex” for them.
He adds: “So let the millionaires help get you started. Tax them. Tax them more and do it now.”
Pegg describes inequality as the “driving force behind both societal breakdown and the very real climate crisis we face”.
The law in many countries is “so full of loopholes”, Pegg says, that a “billionaire can legally pay a lower rate of tax than his assistant, and a multinational company can pay less tax than a corner shop”.
The letter he has added his name to has attracted more than 120 signatures.
It claims that in “many nations, tensions caused by inequality have reached crisis levels”.
It adds that “most reasonable people understand that philanthropy has always been, and always will be, an inadequate substitute for government investment”.
In continues: “Taxes are the best and only appropriate way to ensure adequate investment in the things our societies need.”
People who “refuse to be part of the solution” will “be to blame”, it concludes.
Research by author reveals corporations and aristocrats are the biggest landowners
Half of England is owned by less than 1% of its population, according to new data shared with the Guardian that seeks to penetrate the secrecy that has traditionally surrounded land ownership.
The findings, described as “astonishingly unequal”, suggest that about 25,000 landowners – typically members of the aristocracy and corporations – have control of half of the country.
The figures show that if the land were distributed evenly across the entire population, each person would have almost an acre – an area roughly the size of Parliament Square in central London.
Major owners include the Duke of Buccleuch, the Queen, several large grouse moor estates, and the entrepreneur James Dyson. [ . . . ]
Continue reading at THE GUARDIAN: Half of England is owned by less than 1% of the population