A Global Tax Plan for a Global Pandemic

'Biden tax plan could help bring an end to severe covid'

Our report –  A Global Tax Plan for a Global Pandemic – has shown how Biden’s tax plan combined with reform of global tax rules would provide sufficient finance to vaccinate all those at risk of severe covid disease.  In so doing, it could help bring an end to the Covid-19 pandemic.*

In April 2021, President Joe Biden released his Made in America Tax Plan. A key feature of the plan was his proposal for a global minimum corporate tax rate of 21%. Economists have shown how this plan, when combined with reformed global tax rules (known as the METR proposal – Minimum Effective Tax Rate), could generate $640 billion of additional funding for national governments. This report analysed the impact those funds could have on 34 of the poorest countries in the world, including India, and have shown that for the vast majority of countries, it would be sufficient for those countries to vaccine all those most at risk of severe covid. In this way, this reformed tax plan could help bring an end to the pandemic.

The COVAX facility is the current mechanism to provide the vaccine to lower income countries, but this is underfunded. In addition, poorer countries also need to find the resources to fund the distribution of the vaccine within their own borders. The sums generated by a 21% global minimum corporate tax when combined with the METR proposal are sufficient to both fully fund COVAX and ensure that many lower income countries have enough funds to vaccinate at least 20% of their population. This figure represents the proportion of the population at risk of severe covid – that is frontline health and social care workers, those over 65, and those with underlying health conditions. Hence, the proposed tax plan could help end severe covid in these countries, and therefore across the globe. In this way, multinational corporations would be making their contribution to a crisis that has not gone away and that remains a threat to us all.