Current Affairs

A World Tax for the Poor

The UN has recently called for implementing a billionaire’s tax, a tax that would be used for helping the poor. Indeed, this is a very interesting proposal to try and help those in poverty, but we don’t the UN to come up with a supposed new idea of a tax to help the poor. Rather we already have such a system in place, a 1400-year-old system, called the Zakat, which is one of the main pillars of Islam. The Zakat is a charity tax, and it was a system implemented and installed by the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), a tax every Muslim must give from their wealth, to the poor. Now if everyone followed the Zakat tax, then the problem of poverty would be solved, and this yet again demonstrates how Islam has practical solutions for many of the worlds problems.

From the AFP:

The United Nations on Thursday called for a tax on billionaires to help raise more than $400 billion a year for poor countries.

An annual lump sum payment by the super-rich is one of a host of measures including a tax on carbon dioxide emissions, currency exchanges or financial transactions proposed in a UN report that accuses wealthy nations of breaking promises to step up aid for the less fortunate.

The annual World Economic and Social Survey says it is critical to find new ways to help the world’s poor as pledged cash fails to flow.

The report estimates that the number of people around the globe worth at least $1 billion rose to 1,226 in 2012.

There are an estimated 425 billionaires in the United States, 315 in the Asia-Pacific region, 310 in Europe, 90 in other North and South American countries and 86 in Africa and the Middle East.

Together they own an estimated $4.6 trillion so a one percent tax on their wealth would raise more than $46 billion, according to the report.

“Would this hurt them?” it questioned.

“The ‘average’ billionaire would own $3.7 billion after paying the tax. If that billionaire spent $1,000 per day, it would take him or her over 10,000 years to spend all his or her wealth,” the report says.

It says that the wealth of billionaires grew at an average rate of four percent a year in the two decades before the 2008-2009 financial crisis.

“If that rate of growth returned with no wealth tax, the average billionaire’s wealth would double in less than 18 years.”

The idea could appeal to the likes of Warren Buffett, the US tycoon who has complained that he pays a lower tax rate than his secretary. France’s new Socialist government has caused consternation by vowing a 75 percent tax on salaries above one million euros ($1.24 million).

But the UN acknowledged that the idea is unlikely to get widespread support from the target group, saying that for now its tax on the unimaginably wealthy remains “an intriguing possibility.”

“It has not been regarded as a means of raising revenues for international cooperation,” the report says.

Categories: Current Affairs, Economics

2 replies »

  1. Top class Sheikh Sami, I have been telling my friends for A LONG time that the Muslims need someone to lay the smack on globalisation and the inequalities that mean Europe is spending more money on ICE CREAM per year than it takes to provide basic nutrition and healthcare for EVERYONE lacking it (it’s true, look it up).

    We need someone with Sami’s political savy and moral compass to clarify the REAL issues: too long has this debate been hijacked by the likes of tax-dodging self promoters like Bob Geldof and Bono.

    How about a talk on this Sheikh Sami?

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