Campaigners plan to underline U2′s complex international avoidance techniques with highly visible demonstration during band’s set at Glastonbury this month


Tax avoidance: Bono

A pressure group who seek to force U2 to stop avoiding tax payments is planning to mar the band’s Glastonbury set with a highly visible protest campaign.

Art Uncut, an organisation connected with UK Uncut, aims to highlight and prevent cuts to public services through what they see as the combined forces of reduced payments from government and increased tax benefits for the rich.

And they’ve singled out U2 for their behaviour, which has seen millions lost in Irish tax since they began running much of their business from the Netherlands in 2006.

An Art Uncut spokesman tells the Guardian: “Bono claims to care about the developing world, but U2 greedily indulges in the very kind of tax avoidance which is crippling poor nations.

“We will be showing the very real impact of U2′s tax avoidance on hospitals and schools in Ireland. Anyone watching will be very much aware Bono needs to pay up.”

Campaign organisers say they won’t stop the band’s performance at the Glastonbury Festival on June 24-26, but protests will include a massive inflatable bunch of banknotes floating from under an Irish flag to a Dutch one.

The band’s manager Paul McGuinness previously said: “U2 is a global business and pays tax globally. At least 95% of our business takes place outside Ireland and as a result the band pays many different kinds of taxes all over the world.”

In 1990 McGuinness criticised Paul McCartney for accepting tour sponsorship from Visa and the Who for taking money from a brewery, calling both acts “greedy”.

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