Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

U2 get taxed – and Fianna Fail get Twhacked

As the bandwagon rumbles on ahead of the release of U2′s “No Tune On The Horizon”, there are some who are using U2 Week: The Crack Is Only Mighty to highlight some uncomfortable home truths about the band and their …

Thu, Feb 26, 2009, 09:13

   

As the bandwagon rumbles on ahead of the release of U2′s “No Tune On The Horizon”, there are some who are using U2 Week: The Crack Is Only Mighty to highlight some uncomfortable home truths about the band and their business practices.

Ronan McGreevy reports about a protest in Dublin yesterday against U2’s decision to move their tax affairs to Holland to avoid paying tax on their royalities here. The protest was organised by the Debt and Development Coalition Ireland (DDCI) which contains such organisations as Trócaire, Oxfam and various Catholic missionary orders.

Per Ronan’s report, “U2 moved their publishing arm in 2006 after the Government capped tax-free earnings for artists at €250,000. Previously, U2 had been one of the biggest beneficiaries of Ireland’s tax-free status for artist royalties.”

While the band remain resident in Ireland for tax purposes, “DDCI co-ordinator Nessa ní Chasaíde said the decision to holding the protest outside the Department of Finance was to highlight the fact that U2’s tax avoidance measures deprives the Irish exchequer of taxation revenue that could be spent on development aid”. This use of a tax loophole in a foreign jurisdiction is one of the questions which Brian Boyd puts to the band in an interview to be pubilshed in The Ticket tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Fianna Fail are not feeling the love from the blogosphere this morning after Rosparsgate. Dozens of bloggers turned up at an event in Dublin last night to hear from Joe Rospars, one of the dudes who worked on the successful Barack Obama campaign in the United States (his company Blue State also tried to help Ken Livingstone regain his job as mayor of London, but enough about that one).

What no-one had told the bloggers, though, was that Rospars was in town rocking on FF’s dime and Blue State had been hired to help the party redesign the website. It seems from various online reports that the event was always going to be a bit of a FF love-in, but the blogeratti didn’t know about this. Cue much fuming, fury and indignation when they walked into the room and realised what was going on – check this Twitter feed to see how the meltdown happened. Meanwhile, event organiser – and Letterkenny FF councillor – Damien Blake gives his version of events.