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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Photo: Samuel Corum/Bloomberg via Getty Images

IMF fiscal chief Vitor Gaspar in an interview with Financial Times called for an additional tax on high-earning individuals and companies that remained stable through the pandemic, saying it would show solidarity with those who struggled.

Why it matters: The temporary tax would go toward reducing social inequities that have widened under economic and health strains. Younger and poorer people have suffered the most during the pandemic, the IMF said in its April 2021 Fiscal Monitor.

What they're saying: The group called for advanced economies to raise top income tax rates for a short period, and consider implementing a special tax on excess profits for companies with unusually high 2020 returns.

  • Such a policy would also boost the perception "that everybody contributes to the effort necessary for recovery from Covid-19," Gaspar said.
  • The IMF cited Germany's post-reunification solidarity tax as one example: "The symbolic impact of this type of contribution is sometimes very important ... typically, they occur in a very exceptional circumstances where social solidarity plays a particularly strong role," Gaspar said.
  • Most countries are not in crisis, having attained better economic outcomes as a result of heavy spending, the IMF stated. But poorer countries will face difficulties financing debts.
  • "It's important to stress the multi-speed character of the recovery and for policies to be tailored to fit each country’s specific circumstances," Gaspar told FT.

The big picture: At the opening of its spring meetings on Tuesday the IMF projected that the world will see 6% GDP growth this year, the highest since the 1970s.

  • 2020 was the "first time since records began that inequality rose in virtually every country on earth at the same time," per Oxfam's inequality report.

Go deeper: Coronavirus has inflamed global inequality

Go deeper

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
Apr 6, 2021 - Economy & Business

The world's pandemic rebound

Data: IMF World Economic Outlook; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

The global economy is going to end 2021 2.5% larger than it was at the end of 2019. That's according to the latest forecast from the IMF, which has upgraded its economic projections by about half a percentage point since its last forecast in January.

Why it matters: The overall growth rate of 6% in 2021 masks a huge range between countries. India is projected to grow at a 12.5% pace this year, for instance, while Nigeria will only grow by 2.5%.

Jeff Bezos says Amazon supports raising corporate tax rate

Jeff Bezos testifies at a House Judiciary Subcommittee hearing in July 2020. Photo: Graeme Jennings/Washington Examiner/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos on Tuesday publicly backed using long-term corporate tax hikes to support President Biden's $2 trillion infrastructure plan.

The big picture: Amazon, one of the world's most valuable companies, was singled out by Biden in a recent speech for not paying federal income tax for several years prior to 2019.

In photos: Students evacuated as wildfire burns historic Cape Town buildings

Firefighters try, in vain, to extinguish a fire in the Jagger Library, at the University of Cape Town, after a forest fire came down the foothills of Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa, on Sunday. Photo: Rodger Bosch/AFP via Getty Images

A massive wildfire spread from the foothills of Table Mountain to the University of Cape Town Sunday, burning historic South African buildings and forcing the evacuation of 4,000 students, per Times Live.

The big picture: Visitors to the Table Mountain National Park and other nearby attractions were also evacuated and several roads including a major highway, were closed. South Africa's oldest working windmill and the university's Jagger Library, which houses SA antiquities, are among the buildings damaged.