Gary Stevenson made millions betting on the state of the economy as a City trader – now he’s among a small group of millionaires calling for a wealth tax to replace Boris Johnson’s controversial health and social care levy.
The prime minister announced a 1.25 percentage point national insurance rise on Tuesday to fund a new social care package and deal with the NHS backlog.
The move has incited fury from backbench MPs for breaking a 2019 Conservative manifesto promise as well as criticism over how the tax will hit lower earners harder.
Unlike income tax which sees the percentage of contributions rise as earnings grow, national insurance falls. The regressive tax sees workers earning up to £50,000 a year pay 12 per cent of their salary in national insurance contributions compared to two per cent for those earning above that amount.
Ordinary people need money in their pockets. And at the moment we’re taxing them, letting the money go to billionaireseconomist Gary Stevensoneconomist Gary Stevenson
Putting the burden on lower-income workers to cover the cost of the Covid-19 crisis means the economy will not recover from the pandemic, according to Stevenson, who said now is the time for a wealth tax to hit millionaires like him. That is why he has joined Millionaires for Humanity – an international campaign group calling for a wealth tax.
“What I firmly believe is if we don’t do something about wealth inequality we’re going to see continuing and accelerating collapses in our economy,” said Stevenson, an economist at Wealth Economics.