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Bill Gates says wealthy people as himself should pay ‘significantly higher’ taxes

The Independent

Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates has said wealthy individuals such as himself should be made to pay substantially higher taxes.

Mr Gates, who is worth over $90bn (£64bn), said despite the fact he has “paid more taxes…than anyone else” he should be required to fork out more by the government.
Speaking to CNN in an interview on Sunday, he said: “I need to pay higher taxes.
”I’ve paid more taxes, over $10bn, than anyone else, but the government should require the people in my position to pay significantly higher taxes.”

He criticised the Republican sweeping $1.5 trillion tax reform bill which Donald Trump signed into law at the end of last year.
The measure constitutes the most profound changes to tax laws since the 1980’s and slashes taxes for corporations while providing most Americans with only temporary relief.

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Mr Gates, the second richest man in the world after Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, argued the greatest benefits of the bill would be reaped by the super rich.
“It was not a progressive tax bill. It was a regressive tax bill,” he said.

He argued the biggest advantages would be felt by the wealthiest in society despite the Republicans’ assertion their first major legislative victory would help America’s working and middle classes.
“People who are wealthier tended to get dramatically more benefits than the middle class or those who are poor, and so it runs counter to the general trend you’d like to see, where the safety net is getting stronger and those at the top are paying higher taxes,” he said.

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While Mr Trump has drawn attention to the magnitude of the tax cuts and branded the legislation “a bill for the middle class and a bill for jobs”, Democrats have labelled the measure a “monumental con job” that will benefit the rich at the expense of America’s poorest.

The bill slashes the corporate tax rate from 35 per cent to 21 per cent.
It also raises the threshold for the estate tax, a levy that applies to property passed down when a family member dies which only affects a few thousand ultra-rich families each year. This change predominantly benefits the upper echelons of earners, including Mr Trump himself.

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Asked about his view on “rising inequality” in the US, Mr Gates said: “All advanced democracies have to think about that.”
He added: “You still have about a sixth of the population living in conditions that should be very disappointing to us, and government policies need to really think, ‘Why aren’t we doing a better job for those people?’”

Mr Gates has donated more than $40bn of his personal wealth to charitable causes. He founded the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the largest private foundation in the US, with his wife in 2000.

The organisation aims to improve healthcare, cut extreme poverty and expand educational opportunities and access to information technology.

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