Tuesday, February 24, 2009

U2 must believe in tax justice

STOP PRESS: an article in the Irish Times dated 25 February 2009 reports that Bono and U2 will be defending their tax avoidance in an interview to be published on Friday 27th 2009. One to watch out for.


Irish Campaigners say ‘U2 Must Believe in Tax Justice’

As U2 prepare to launch their new album, this week Irish global justice campaigners will be challenging the band to put their money where their mouth is and support global tax justice. Campaigners highlighted the millions of euro denied to impoverished governments through tax avoidance and evasion by multi-national companies shifting their profits to avoid tax.

Nessa Ní Chasaide of Debt and Development Coalition Ireland said, "Bono may campaign for a better deal for the world's poor – but his band are taking advantage of the same tax avoidance schemes that rob impoverished countries of billions. At least $160 billion drains out of impoverished countries each year because of multinational companies shifting their profits to avoid tax.We need international action to ensure that everyone pays and pays their fair share.”

In 2006 U2 moved one of their companies from Ireland to the Netherlands to minimise their tax bill. This is depriving the Irish government of revenue that we need to pay for social services and development aid to impoverished countries.

Andy Storey from Afri added, "Tax is a fundamental question of global justice. Lost taxes in impoverished countries far outweigh what theyreceivefrom rich countries in aid. There are trillions of dollars stashed in tax havens. If that money was taxed in the countries where it was earned, governments would have their own resources to improve the lives of their people."

Fleachta Phelan of Comhlámh continued, “Every person and company has a duty to pay tax and make their contribution to society. The Irish government must end tax dodging through supporting international action against bank secrecy and forcing companies to publish where they make money and where they pay tax.”

Campaigners are inviting believers in tax justice to write alternative U2 songs for tax justice. See http://www.debtireland.org/ for more details.

According to Christian Aid, impoverished countries lose at least $160 billion every year as a result of tax avoidance and tax evasion by companies operating in their jurisdiction. -

The lives of 350,000 children under the age of five could be saved every year if tax dodging was ended.

The OECD estimates that tax havens like Bermuda, Switzerland and the Isle of Man hold between $5 and $7 trillion in their accounts.

For further information contact:Nessa Ní Chasaide, Co-ordinator, Debt and Development Coalition, 087 7507001 Debt and Development Coalition Ireland: www.debtireland.orgAfri: www.afri.ieComhlamh: www.comhlamh.org

2 Comments:

Blogger Henry said...

Don't attack the dodgers, attack the people who persist with running tax systems that might as well have been designed for the purpose of being dodged.

2:40 am  
Anonymous Elliott said...

@Henry

What are you talking about? Bono and his like pay small fortunes to lawyers and accountants to devise abusive tax avoidance structures. He has a clear choice: pay tax like normal people (at a very low rate in Ireland), or avoid tax using abusive structures. By adopting the latter route he reveals himself for what he really is: self-serving, anti-social and hypocritical.

Bono is part of the problem. There's no way he can masquerade as a champion of poor people when he's the exact opposite. Enough of your arse-licking.

6:41 am  

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