UK millionaires call on Rishi Sunak to tax the rich more in Budget

The Chancellor – who is himself extremely wealthy – has been told to avoiding burdening the young and poor with the Covid recovery (Picture: REX/Getty)

A group of UK millionaires has called on Rishi Sunak to make them pay more tax ahead of Wednesday’s budget.

The group of more than 30 wealthy individuals wrote to the Chancellor urging him not to burden young people or those on lower incomes with the cost of the Covid recovery.

In an open letter to Mr Sunak, the ‘Proud to Pay’ group said: ‘We understand the immense pressure on the Treasury to deal with crises both present and future – from inequality, to Covid, to climate change. We know there will be high expectations for you to find the money needed.

‘We know where you can find that money – tax wealth holders like us.’

They added: ‘We can afford to contribute more, and we want to invest in repairing and improving our shared services.

‘We are proud to pay our taxes to reduce inequality, support stronger social care and the NHS, and to ensure that we’re building a more just and green society.’

It comes as the Chancellor is expected to announce that the public sector pay cap will end in Wednesday’s budget.

It comes after Universal Credit claimants saw their payments cut by £1,000 a year (Picture: Getty Images)

The letter goes on: ‘The cost of recovery cannot fall on the young or on those with lower incomes. There are many of us – people with wealth – who will support a more progressive system of taxation, and we urge you to do the same. 

‘When deciding on how to meet the financial gap, look to us. Repairing our country is more valuable than growing our wealth.’ 

The UK is currently in the grips of a cost of living crisis, with bills rising and winter looming.

Food prices have risen amid supply chain problems and shortages, while the cost of gas rocketing has impacted energy bills.

But Mr Sunak – himself extremely wealthy and the son-in-law of a billionaire – recently cut the temporary increase in Universal Credit payments, making claimants £1,000 a year worse off.

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One of the signatories – which the Guardian reported included people from various backgrounds and industries – told the paper: ‘This letter isn’t a goodwill statement, this is an attempt to shake the chancellor by the fiscal shoulders and wake him up’.

Technology entrepreneur Gemma McGough said: ‘If we endlessly tax working people and never tax where the big money is being made, our country will continue to suffer.

‘Any business-minded person will tell you it makes good economic sense to balance your books.

‘Where is the balance when wealth gets stockpiled by a small group of very rich people and the cost of the country falls to those on lower and middle incomes?’

The Guardian cited research by Greenwich University highlighting how a wealth tax on the top 1% of UK households – those who have more than £3.6m – could generate at least £70bn a year.

That would equate to 8% of the current total tax take but affect only about 250,000 households.

Similar initiatives have been implemented in place like Norway, Bolivia and Argentina but Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Mr Sunak have dismissed the idea. has contacted the Treasury for comment.

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