Davignon calls for extra tax on the super-rich

The Belgian businessman Etienne Davignon has called for a so-called “crisis tax” to be imposed on the super-rich. Mr Davignon is one of Belgium’s richest people, so his call for the rich to be taxed more has come as something of a surprise. Speaking in an interview with the daily ‘De Standaard’, Mr Davignon says that the purpose of the temporary extra levy on the very wealthy would be to help balance the federal budget by 2015.

“Of course the government needs to above all make savings. However, I realise that this won’t be enough, if we’re to have a balanced budget by 2015.”

“This is why I feel that a temporary extra tax would be acceptable.”

A temporary extra levy on fortunes is one of the proposals made by the man heading the coalition talks, the Francophone socialist Elio Di Rupo.

Fortunes of more than 1.25 million Euros would be subject to the new tax.

"I’m in favour of them having the possibility to do their bit without them felling any ill-effects”, Mr Davignon told the VRT.

"I feel that people like me have a responsibility to help make a contribution to balancing the budget.”

"It is also not the case that my lifestyle will change because I’m taxed more. This is why I feel that it’s acceptable.”

Mr Davignon adds that it wouldn’t be acceptable to make people that are already finding it tough pay more tax.

“If you’re looking for extra cash, you should do so among people that can still make a contribution.”

Etienne Davignon is following the example set out by the American businessman and financier Waren Buffet.

Earlier, Mr Buffet called on the American government to increase taxes on the rich.