02 November 2006

Take Care in Choosing You Idols

For they have a way of disappointing you eventually:
Oct. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Bono, the rock star and campaigner against Third World debt, is asking the Irish government to contribute more to Africa. At the same time, he's reducing tax payments that could help fund that aid.

Bono and his U2 bandmates earlier this year moved their music publishing company to the Netherlands. The Dublin group, which Forbes estimates earned $110 million in 2005, will pay about 5 percent tax on their royalties, less than half the Irish rate.

At a concert last year in Croke Park, Dublin's biggest stadium, Bono appealed to Prime Minister Bertie Ahern to raise overseas aid to 0.7 percent of gross national product by 2007 from 0.5 percent now. The crowd responded by booing Ahern. "It seems odd, in a situation where they enjoy an already favorable tax regime, they would move operations to the Netherlands to get an even more favorable rate,'' said Joan Burton, finance spokeswoman for the opposition Labour Party.
I don't blame him; business is business. I do what I can to minimize my tax liability. But I don't flog governments to "do something" at every drop of the hat with other people's tax money.

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