Using new data from Forbes and Wealth X, Fight Inequality Alliance, Patriotic Millionaires, Institute for Policy Studies and Oxfam have prepared estimates for what wealth taxes on the world’s richest people could raise. We have looked at $USD billionaires, those with $50 million dollars in wealth and those with $5 million dollars in wealth from 66 countries worldwide. We modelled the annual revenue from an annual wealth tax of 2% for 5 million and above, 3% for 50 million and above, and 5% for $1 billion and above. Actual levels of wealth taxation would be agreed in each country, and these estimates are only indicative, but nevertheless, this shows just how much revenue could be raised.
Beyond the objective of raising revenue, it is also legitimate to use wealth taxation to fundamentally reduce the total numbers of billionaires and multi-millionaires. With this in mind, in line with the work of Gabriel Zucman, we have also modelled the revenue from a 10% annual wealth tax on the world’s billionaires, which would seek to steadily reduce the total number of billionaires in the world.
1. The Super-Rich and the Pandemic
There are 1,755 households with a net worth of $5 million (Kshs.567 Million) or more, with wealth totaling $37.1 billion (Kshs.4.2 trillion).
There are 120 households with $50 million(Kshs.5.67 Billion) or more with a combined wealth of $17.4 billion(Kshs. 1.97 Trillion).
Between 2016 and 2021, the number of households with wealth over $50 million (Kshs.5.67 Billion) increased from 80 to 120. Their combined wealth increased from $12.73 billion Kshs. 1.44 Trillion) to $17.4 billion (Kshs. 1.97 Trillion)., an increase of 36.8%, adjusted for inflation.
The five richest people in Kenya, as of November 30th, 2021, are:
- Sameer Naushad Merali, $790 million (Kshs.89.5Billion)
- Bhimji Depar Shah, $750 million (Kshs.85 Billion)
- Jaswinder Singh Bedi, $680 million (Kshs.77 Billion)
- Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta, $530 million (Kshs.60.2 Billion)
- Mahendra Rambhai Patel, $430 million (Kshs.48.7Billion)
2. The Rich Compared to Everyone Else
The two richest people have more wealth than 16.5 million Kenyans.
3. Annual Wealth Tax
An annual wealth tax in Kenya would raise $900 million a year(Kshs.102 Billion) (with rates at 2% on wealth over $5 million (Kshs.567 Million), 3% on wealth over $50 million(Kshs.5.67 Billion), and 5% on wealth over $1 billion(Kshs.113 Billion), ).
A more progressive wealth tax would raise $1.1 billion(Kshs.124 Billion), (with rates at 2% on wealth over $5 million(Kshs.567 Million), 5% on wealth over $50 million(Kshs.5.67 Billion) and 10% on wealth over $1 billion(Kshs.113 Billion).
4. Health Not Wealth: Impact of Revenue on Health Spending
An annual wealth tax applied to the wealth of multi-millionaires raises approximately $900 million (Kshs.102 Billion) a year, enough to increase the government health budget by 36% OR reduce households’ out of pocket health costs.