Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Messiah Avoids Tax Sacrifice

U2 have moved some of their multi-million pound fortune out of the Republic of Ireland (to Amsterdam) as a tax-avoiding measure. The super-smug Bono – he of the Messiah Complex – has so far made no comment. The move is a response to a cap of £168,000 which the Irish Government has placed on the amount that artists can enjoy tax-free (in fact much of their earnings continue to enjoy tax-free status). Earlier it emerged that the Rolling Stones have paid only 1.6% in tax on earnings of £242 million over the last 20 years. They too stash much of the loot in Holland. Meanwhile today's Guardian reports that Bono’s “California-based venture capitalist firm” Elevation Partners have also invested around £157 million in Forbes Magazine (described as "the Bible of capitalism"). Joan Burton, Irish Labour's finance spokesman, said: "Having listened to Bono on the necessity for the Irish Government to give more money to Ireland Aid, of which I approve, I am surprised that U2 are not prepared to contribute to the Exchequer on a fair basis along with the bulk of Irish taxpayers. I share Bono's desire to see more resources devoted to Ireland Aid but it is more difficult to make a case for it if everyone is not willing to be part of the social contract that stipulates that everybody should pay their fair share in what is a low-tax country." Quite.


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