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Leader: Stop preaching, Bono

The U2 singer calls for governments to spend more on foreign aid while minimising his tax bill.

When Bono urges governments to increase foreign aid, where does he think the money should come from? Not from taxes, it seems, because the U2 singer isn't exactly keen on paying those. Although he and his band live mostly in Ireland - a country that could do with some tax revenues right now - they funnel parts of their earnings through a company in the Netherlands, meaning they pay a tax rate of just a few per cent on much of their multimillion-pound fortune.

No wonder Art Uncut is protesting U2's appearance at Glastonbury Festival later this month. As one commentator noted: "Forget the smell from the Portaloos. It's the stench of hypocrisy that will be truly stifling."

This article first appeared in the 20 June 2011 issue of the New Statesman, Sunni vs Shia