Norway ending death tax 'a big mistake': Piketty
French economist Thomas Piketty has criticised Norway's decision to scrap inheritance tax at the start of this year as "a big mistake", arguing that it will inevitably lead to higher inequality in the country.
The 43-year-old professor at the Paris School of Economics, whose book ‘Capital in the Twenty-First Century’ topped the New York Times Bestseller list this year, told journalists in Helsinki that Nordic countries should not be complacent about inequality.
“We don’t need to wait for the rise in inequality to be as large as in the US to start worrying about it," he said, according to Bloomberg news wires.
Norway's new right-wing coalition scrapped the country's inheritance taxes on fortunes above 470,000 kroner at the start of this year, following the example of Sweden, which abolished inheritance tax in 2005.
Piketty, whose book tracks changes in inequality in wealth and income from the 18th century to the present day, focusing particularly on the rise in inequality since the 1970s, argued that inheritance tax was one of the best ways to keep inequality in check.
“If we stop taxing inherited wealth and corporate profits, we’ll have very high taxes on labor income, very high taxes on wages,” he said. “Inheritance tax is only one way to keep balance between capital and labor.”
“The complete suppression of inheritance tax is to me a big mistake.”