Experts at Deutsche Bank said in a new report, white collar employees enjoying the financial benefits of working from home should be taxed so that those who are not getting the similar benefits can be helped.
The bank proposed 5% daily tax on employees who continue to work from home in its report on how to rebuild the economy after COVID-19. The government can raise tens of billions of dollars from is this proposal. The collected money can be used to help workers from the lower income groups, who have taken on greater risk because their jobs cannot be done from remote location.
The bank has noticed that the global pandemic has fast-tracked the shift to remote work or working from home, a trend that seems would be followed by many workers for a long-term who are expected to spend a few days of their work week at home even after the pandemic ends and we are back to normal.
The workers who can work from home are benefitting from more convenience and flexibility. They are also saving money directly as in the current circumstances they don’t have to invest in commuting costs, lunches, or buying and dry-cleaning office clothes.
Assuming that the average salary of an American working from home is $55,000, the tax would amount to just over $10 a day. That is approximately the amount the worker might spend on travelling to office and back, lunch and laundry. This proposal could raise up to $48 billion in the U.S. Similar calculations have been carried out the Deutsche Bank for Germany and the U.K.
However, the proposal faced heavy backlash.
Andrew Hunter, co-founder of Adzuna.co.uk (a job search engine) said, “the idea was misguided and predicted it would be incredibly unpopular.”
“It punishes progressive companies and those with kids or caring responsibilities, who were responsible during the pandemic, who are already taking on more costs and helping the environment by staying at home,” said Hunter.
“Let’s be honest, there are many better ways to raise taxes!”