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 N?? 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 they receive from 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 Comhl?°mh 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 www.debtireland.org for more details.