Off the Record, Vol. 13-573

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“It is primarily for this reason that I was pleased to see Bono address the issue of U2’s tax status during Tuesday night’s broadcast of The Meaning of Life with Gay Byrne. In a frank conversation with one of country’s most influential and respected television personalities, Bono called it very ‘churlish’ of his countrymen to be critical of U2 acting like a business. He described Ireland as a ‘small rock’ which greatly benefitted from low corporate tax rates through the late 1990s thus saving the economy from drowning. He went on to argue that while critics might call U2’s philanthropic involvement ‘idealistic’ (he thinks it is ‘pragmatic’), it is entirely unrelated to good business sense. In essence, the band is where it is today as a result of rigorous management (‘Paul McGuinness is the Winston Churchill of rock) and praiseworthy administration. The path U2 has followed is not only legal, he emphasized, it is within ‘the spirit of the law.'”

The original article was published by on June 30, 2013. Read the full version here.