Richard Curtis, Abigail Disney Call for "Permanent" Tax on Wealthy to Fund Virus Recovery

Elisabetta A. Villa/WireImage/Getty Images
Richard Curtis

"Tax us. Tax us. Tax us. It is the right choice. It is the only choice."

British filmmaker Richard Curtis — best known as the screenwriter of hit rom-coms Four Weddings and a Funeral, Love Actually and Notting Hill — and Disney heiress Abigail Disney are among a list of 83 millionaires who have signed a letter calling for governments to increase taxes on the wealthy to help fund efforts for a recovery from the novel coronavirus pandemic. 

The letter — from a group calling itself Millionaires for Humanity — urged authorities to "immediately, substantially, permanently" raise taxes on "people like us." It added: "As COVID-19 strikes the world, millionaires like us have a critical role to play in healing our world." 

The letter continued: "No, we are not the ones caring for the sick in intensive care wards. We are not driving the ambulances that will bring the ill to hospitals. We are not restocking grocery store shelves or delivering food door to door. But we do have money, lots of it. Money that is desperately needed now and will continue to be needed in the years ahead, as our world recovers from this crisis."

Other signatories of the letter, which claimed that the crisis could push half a billion people into poverty, include Ben & Jerry's co-founder Jerry Greenfield and Irish venture capitalist John O’Farrell.

"The problems caused by, and revealed by, COVID-19 can't be solved with charity, no matter how generous," it added. "Government leaders must take the responsibility for raising the funds we need and spending them fairly. We can ensure we adequately fund our health systems, schools, and security through a permanent tax increase on the wealthiest people on the planet, people like us."

The letter concluded: "Unlike tens of millions of people around the world, we do not have to worry about losing our jobs, our homes, or our ability to support our families. We are not fighting on the frontlines of this emergency and we are much less likely to be its victims. So please. Tax us. Tax us. Tax us. It is the right choice. It is the only choice."