UK markets closed
  • FTSE 100

    6,483.43
    -168.53 (-2.53%)
     
  • FTSE 250

    20,910.37
    -287.75 (-1.36%)
     
  • AIM

    1,183.25
    -8.61 (-0.72%)
     
  • GBP/EUR

    1.1532
    +0.0034 (+0.30%)
     
  • GBP/USD

    1.3922
    -0.0091 (-0.65%)
     
  • BTC-GBP

    32,388.93
    -1,802.94 (-5.27%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    912.88
    -20.25 (-2.17%)
     
  • S&P 500

    3,811.15
    -18.19 (-0.48%)
     
  • DOW

    30,932.37
    -469.64 (-1.50%)
     
  • CRUDE OIL

    61.66
    -1.87 (-2.94%)
     
  • GOLD FUTURES

    1,733.00
    -42.40 (-2.39%)
     
  • NIKKEI 225

    28,966.01
    -1,202.26 (-3.99%)
     
  • HANG SENG

    28,980.21
    -1,093.96 (-3.64%)
     
  • DAX

    13,786.29
    -93.04 (-0.67%)
     
  • CAC 40

    5,703.22
    -80.67 (-1.39%)
     

The world's most successful investor lays into Donald Trump's tax plans

Mark Dorman
President Donald Trump’s tax plans have come under fire from two financial heavyweights (Evan Vucci/AP)
President Donald Trump’s tax plans have come under fire from two financial heavyweights (Evan Vucci/AP)

Two towering Wall Street figures have criticised Donald Trump’s tax reform plans.

Warren Buffett, the legendary billionaire investor, hit out at the proposals that would slash business rates and also cut taxes for the richest Americans.

“We have a lot of businesses… I don’t think any of them are non-competitive in the world because of the corporate tax rate,” he told CNBC.

MORE: One qualification Warren Buffett would like of Berkshire’s next CEO

Buffett, who leads multinational Berkshire Hathaway, said a proposal to repeal the ‘death duty’ estate tax would be “a terrible mistake” that would benefit the wealthiest Americans unnecessarily.

Fellow financial giant, BlackRock’s chief executive Larry Fink, joined in the attack, saying the planned corporation tax cut from 35% to possibly as low as 20% was a bad idea.

He said a corporate rate as high as 27% could satisfy U.S. businesses’ need for tax relief, while avoiding an increase in the federal deficit.

“What is being proposed is a pretty large expansion of our deficits,” Fink told Bloomberg TV.

Warren Buffett says he doesn’t need a tax break – and neither do his children (Chip Somodevilla | Getty Images)
Warren Buffett says he doesn’t need a tax break – and neither do his children (Chip Somodevilla | Getty Images)

Many multinationals already avoid paying the top rate by taking advantage of abundant tax loopholes.

Buffett used his own situation to illustrate the impact of scrapping the estate tax. It would mean, he said, that he could leave his $75 billion fortune to 35 of his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and they would each have $2 billion.

MORE: Lord Sugar tells women to shout louder about unfair pay

“They could do anything,” he told CNBC.

“That’s not good for capitalism, I don’t think it’s good for the children, I sure don’t think it’s good for society where there’s a ton of inequality to start with. I think that’s a terrible mistake for example.”

Larry Fink, chief executive of BlackRock, also took aim at the Trump plan for corporation tax cuts (REUTERS/Lucas Jackson)
Larry Fink, chief executive of BlackRock, also took aim at the Trump plan for corporation tax cuts (REUTERS/Lucas Jackson)

The Republican tax plan unveiled last month contains up to $6 trillion in tax cuts, according to independent analysts, which US president Trump and top Republicans say they would offset by eliminating loopholes, deductions and tax breaks and boosting annual economic growth.

Republicans also insist that cutting the corporate tax rate to 20% will help workers by increasing jobs and raising salaries.

Senator Ron Wyden, the top Senate Democrat on tax policy, accused the Trump administration of removing a research paper from the U.S. Treasury’s website that showed workers would benefit only marginally from a corporate rate cut.

MORE: ‘That $9.5 billion is real’: Buffett explains how a Trump tax cut would help Berkshire

“Apparently, that mainstream economic analysis had to be purged because it basically didn’t jibe with the Trump team’s patter,” Wyden said at a Senate finance committee hearing.

Recent analysis by Bloomberg showed that the top six US companies have about $1.6 trillion stashed overseas. Under the new proposal, firms would pay no US taxes on profits earned abroad.

A study from the Tax Policy Center last week concluded that the top 1% of U.S. earners would benefit most from the tax plan rather than the middle classes, who Trump claims would gain the most.