He believes in Kingdom Come, when all the colors bleed into one, but he's not paying taxes. That's the message from U2's lead singer Bono to the Irish people. The filthy rich frontman insisted this week that the Irish Government don’t have a problem with the band avoiding paying tax on their billions in Ireland.
Having moved their publishing arm to the Netherlands with its more favorable tax arrangements in 2006, Bono admits it was done in a bid to pay substantially less tax.
Stung by an uptick in criticism, Bono insisted it isn’t hypocritical for the band to not pay tax despite Irish Social Protection Minister Joan Burton recently claiming it is 'not acceptable.'
Instead of focusing on his own tax decisions, Bono spoke of the Irish government's instead: 'At the heart of the Irish economy has always been the philosophy of tax competitiveness. Tax competitiveness has taken our country out of poverty,' he said.
'People in the revenue accept that if you engage in that policy then some people are going to go out, and some people are coming in.
'It has been a successful policy. On the cranky left that is very annoying, I can see that. But tax competitiveness is why Ireland has stayed afloat.
'When the Germans tried to impose a different tax regime on the country in exchange for a bailout, the Taoiseach said they would rather not have the bailout. So U2 is in total harmony with our government’s philosophy.'
Admitting that some critics 'probably have a point' to blast their tax arrangements, Bono said they should focus on commitment to aid work in Africa instead.
'I think for many reasons people have taken a dislike to our band and to me. This is another one. I have worked as an activist for all my adult life, and I think overall that no one can doubt we have been pretty effective.'
According to the Irish Mirror Bono revealed that U2 handed over $14 million from their last tour to the African charity RED, but he insisted will never give away all of their cash.
'But you do not end poverty by alms,' Bono continued. 'It is a structural thing. You know I am quite often in a pub in wherever, and put up against a wall by people who have quite simplistic ideas about how to end poverty. And I listen, and then I try to get on with what I do.'
You will not end Ireland's financial crisis by an unexpected U2 tax windfall, he made clear.
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