A new report has suggested that special taxes should be imposed on those employees who continue working from home after the pandemic is over and the amount should be used to help out the lower-paid workers.
A proposal of imposing a 5 per cent tax for each day on those employees who choose to work remotely has been made by economists at Deutsche Bank. For the average employee, that taxation would not amount to much because of the savings that they would make on expenses for commuting, not having to buy lunch on the go and have to make fewer clothing purchases meant for work. As an alternative that same amount should be paid by companies who encourage work from home as they would be saving up of costs of not having opt provide a desk to an employee.
According calculations made in the report prepared by the economic research unit at the German lender, as much as $49bn could be raised by such taxes every year in the United States, €20bn in Germany and £7bn in the United Kingdom.
That huge amount of money could be put to use to subsidize lower-paid workers who are unable to work from home because of the nature of their jobs.
“Working from home will be part of the ‘new normal’ well after the pandemic has passed,” said Jim Reid, global head of fundamental credit strategy and thematic research at Deutsche Bank.
“Our calculations suggest the amounts raised could fund material income subsidies for low-income earners who are unable to work remotely and thus assume more ‘old economy’ and health risks,” Reid said.
Even though it was already growing prior to the novel coronavirus pandemic, the trend has been “turbocharged” in popularity since the pandemic, said Deutsche Bank strategist Luke Templeman.
“For years we have needed a tax on remote workers – Covid has just made it obvious,” Templeman said.
“A big chunk of people have disconnected themselves from the face-to-face world yet are still leading a full economic life. That means remote workers are contributing less to the infrastructure of the economy whilst still receiving its benefits. That is a big problem for the economy.”
According to Templeman’s calculations, an employee earning £35,000 will have to pay just under £7 a day if a daily tax of 5 per cent working from home tax is imposed. A grant of £2,000 to the 12% of people aged over 25 who earn the minimum wage could be paid from the £6.9bn raised in the UK by taxing remote workers, he suggests.
People who have lost their jobs because of the pandemic or those who have been forced to take on lower-paid roles while they are retrained could be support by the new tax, suggests the new taxation proposal from Deutsche Bank.
(Adapted from TheGuardian.com)