Its OK to avoid tax – we give to charity, and other b****cks!

   0   0 Aid, Tax & State-building, Blog, Corruption


Now here’s a tricky public relations issue for our times: how does a band like Take That rebuild its image after being exposed as serial tax avoiders?  The Guardian’s Lost in Showbiz grapples with the problem, in light of the weak apology tweeted by Take That’s Gary Barlow:

“I want to apologise to anyone who was offended by the tax stories.” Not by the tax-avoiding, you understand, but by the stories about it. Thus, in those few brief words, Gary suggested that the real offender here is the Times journalist who exposed him.”

We at TJN are quite sure that Take That’s tax avoidance advisers will have reassured them that their dodgy schemes were totally secret, so we can well understand how bitter and twisted they must have felt towards the journalist who blew the gaff.

Which raises the inevitable question about how celebrity tax avoiders like Take That, Bob Geldoff, Bono, Katie Melua, and others, justify their actions to themselves and others.  Lost in Showbiz offers the following:

“As for what sort of tax-avoider Gary is, that’s an interesting one. Lost in Showbiz reckons there are two kinds of tax avoiders: people who lie to themselves about what they are doing, and people who believe the rest of us taxpaying idiots are being lied to. My guess is that Gary fits into the former category – the sort who, for instance, reassure themselves that it’s OK because they do a lot for charity. (Do they do 30 million quid’s worth of work for charity? No. No, they don’t. And even if they somehow did, it doesn’t absolve them from their basic social responsibilities.)”

Something for Mr “B****cks” Geldoff to mull over while he contemplates the reactions to his latest foray into saving Africa.



Related Posts

UN must defend target to curtail multinational companies’ tax abuse

Photo by Luca Santori, Creative Commons LicenseThe Tax Justice Network, The Independent Commission for the Reform of International Corporate Taxation, and the Global Alliance for Tax Justice call on the UN Secretary General to make sure the commitment to action on tax abuses by multinational companies remains part of the new UN Sustainable Development Goals.


The BVI: Responsible for worldwide tax losses of $37.5 billion a year

BVI report blogAn extraordinary report by consultants Capital Economics, for BVI Finance, claims that the British Virgin Islands are responsible for $1.5 trillion of assets invested around the world, and that these result in 2.2 million jobs and $15 billion in tax revenue. A better approximation would be that the BVI imposes global tax losses of $37.5 […]


Event: Making Tax Work for Women in the UK and Globally

Invitation_ Tax and Gender eventOn Wednesday 28th June 2017 at 16.30 our very own Liz Nelson will be speaking at an event in London that aims to bring together gender and tax justice advocates to highlight the need for coherent and gender-responsive fiscal policies to safeguard the rights of women and girls both in the UK and globally. The […]


Historic event on women, human rights and tax justice in Bogota

BogotaLast week civil society organisations, researchers, labour union activists and policy makers met in Bogota, Colombia to explore how tax justice issues can ensure governments, multinational corporations and others meet their obligations to women in order to secure their full range of human rights. The Women’s Rights and Tax Justice conference opened with a conversation […]


The Offshore Wrapper: the Panama Papers, one year on

Photos from the Protest outside PwC 1 Embankment Place, part of the Global week of action for tax justiceWelcome to the Offshore Wrapper – your weekly update from TJN.  Happy Paniversary! This week it’s been one year since the Panama Papers were leaked, and a number of organisations around the world have been marking the occasion though the global week of action for tax justice. In London, activists from the TJN and the […]


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Top