“So in Ireland it goes from 12.5% to 15%: is this a joke?“. The French economist Thomas piketty does not share the enthusiasm of European leaders over the agreement signed in London between the G7 finance ministers to introduce a global tax on multinationals. “I would also like to pay just 15% tax”, comments the author of Capital in the 21st century, guest a Trento of the Festival of Economics. What if the prime minister Mario Draghi defines it as “a historic step towards greater equity and social justice for citizens”, one word is enough for the economist of the Paris School of Economics: “Scandalous“. And explains why. “Giving large multinationals the privilege of paying 15% tax it means giving them the right to pay less than small and medium-sized enterprises should, like most people and the middle class in general, ”says Piketty, who jokes and wishes himself such a low tax rate. And again: “If everyone paid 15 percent it would be fine, but we know that it is not possible if we want to have transport, schools, public health. To finance these things remains once again the middle class, while to those who can afford branch offices in tax havens we make the discount. Faced with all this talk of a great result is unbecoming, do they take us for idiots? “.
What if the European Commissioner for Economy Paolo Gentiloni commends the American administration of Joe Biden for having promoted the initiative, Piketty recalls that “the EU countries responded to the United States’ proposal for a 21% tax rate, hiding behind the excuse of having to put everyone in agreement, already knowing that there was no unanimity. A way to say no to a slightly more courageous proposal than the agreement signed now in Europe ”. An agreement that will now have to await the scrutiny of the OECD and that of the G20, and will probably be operational within a few years. In Trento, the meeting that saw the French professor, one of the most popular at the Festival, as the protagonist, was entitled “For a participatory socialism”. At the center the theme to which he has dedicated his best known books, that of inequality and the redistribution of wealth. On the sidelines of the meeting, Piketty also commented on the recent proposal of Enrico Letta to review the inheritance tax to allocate more income to young people: “An initiative that goes in the right direction, but I invite Enrico Letta to go further ”. According to the economist, there is in fact a need to tax large assets, because “we cannot wait for the billionaires to die and for them to leave their immense fortunes to their children to be able to tax them”. As for the destination of this tax, the 10 thousand euros for every eighteen year old proposed by the secretary of the Democratic Party “remain very far from the objective of giving everyone the same starting opportunities. I have proposed 120 thousand, and I assure you that even so the objective of equal opportunities is not achieved“. But the economist is convinced that it is “an excellent way to dynamize the Italian economy, which in order to grow needs young people with the necessary resources to invest, create, and do business”.