27 February 2009
Irish rockers U2 have come under fire from protesters who accuse the band of depriving the country of millions of dollars in tax revenue by allegedly storing their wealth in bank accounts abroad.
Activists from campaign group the Debt and Development Coalition Ireland (DDCI) gathered outside the Irish Department of Finance in Dublin on Wednesday (25Feb09) to voice their concerns about the band's finances.
The organisers claim the group, including vocal human rights activist Bono, have been denying the Irish government the chance to help impoverished nations by hoarding their wages in the Netherlands.
U2, who are all based in Ireland, moved their publishing arm to the Netherlands in 2006 after the Government changed the rules over the country's tax-free status for artist royalties. The ruling capped tax-free earnings for artists at 250,000 (320,000/281,000).
DDCI representative, Nessa Ni Chasaide, says, "We wanted to raise our concern that while Bono has championed the cause of fighting poverty and injustice in the impoverished world, the fact is that his band has moved part of its business to a tax shelter in the Netherlands.
"U2 is just one part of the problem. This is a much wider and systemic problem in our global financial system. Every company and individual has the responsibility to pay the right amount of tax."
Do you think that U2 should pay up?