German banking giant Deutsche Bank is calling for a “privilege tax” to be imposed on people who work from home, to erase their savings from not having to commute or pay for food on their lunch breaks.
Writing in a paper for the bank titled What Must We Do to Rebuild? analyst Luke Templeman lamented the fact that “remote workers are contributing less to the infrastructure of the economy whilst still receiving its benefits.”
“That is a big problem for the economy,” he complained — as if spending much of one’s pay on commuting, dry-cleaning work clothes, and so on to boost the GDP is something of a civic duty — and proposed a 5 per cent “privilege tax” to recoup the economy’s imagined “loss”.
“Working from home will be part of the ‘new normal’ well after the pandemic has passed,” explained Jim Reid, Global Head of Fundamental Credit Strategy and Thematic Research at the German banking corporation.
“Our calculations suggest the amounts raised [from taxing home workers] could fund material income subsidies for low-income earners who are unable to work remotely and thus assume more ‘old economy’ and health risks,” he suggested.
Their estimated tax take from the scheme in Britain stands is £7 billion, with the potential to grab €20 billion (£17.8 billion) in Germany and $49 billion (£37 billion) in America.
What do you think they do with the money they don't spend on commuting and inner-city Pret meals? Do they bury it in their gardens?
No. They spend it on something else. And in that way, they "contribute to the economy" again. https://t.co/nOkHmKP4mv
— Kristian Niemietz is a single-issue Trudeauista (@K_Niemietz) November 12, 2020
How far the rationale for Deutsche Bank’s scheme could be pushed is unclear. People who walk or bicycle to work instead of driving or taking the train are also generating less economic output than they might be, as are people who pack their own lunch rather eating out — but a tax punishing such people for their failure to contribute to the GDP with sufficient abandon might be difficult to implement.
“This is just nuts,” commented Dan Eberharton, CEO of Canary, on the proposed tax on home working.
“The left will tax anything they can,” he added– hinting at the strange confluence between the objectives of tax-and-spend leftists and the multinational corporate interests which has emerged in the era of “woke capital”.
The Tax Foundation issued a more measured but equally scathing critique of the proposal, it “doesn’t fix a problem; it doesn’t even identify a problem worth fixing” — but instead “simply enacts a penalty on those able to work remotely.”
“Remote work has both advantages and disadvantages, but it certainly isn’t hurting the federal government,” wrote the foundation’s Vice President of State Projects, Jared Walczak, appraising Deutsche Bank’s “privilege tax” from an American perspective.
“And there is no particular reason why those working from home, either by their choice or their employer’s, should be responsible for supplementing the income of those who remain in offices, however deserving they may be,” he added, questioning why “a low-income remote worker [should] be taxed to write checks to people who make the same or more than them”.
No, we don’t need a federal work-from-home tax.
The recent proposal from a Deutsche Bank publication doesn’t fix a problem; it doesn’t even identify a problem worth fixing.
— Tax Foundation (@TaxFoundation) November 13, 2020