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Bono and U2 should 'pay up' after tax revenues go abroad, says protest group

"BONO, pay up." That's the message the U2 frontman is set to be greeted with when he takes to the stage at the Glastonbury music festival at the end of this month.

The call will come from Art Uncut, a direct action tax protest group intent on highlighting the iconic Dublin band's convoluted -- and it should be said entirely legal -- tax arrangements.

"Bono claims to care about the developing world, but U2 greedily indulges in the very kind of tax avoidance which is crippling the poor nations of this world," a spokesman for Art Uncut told the UK's Guardian newspaper.

But it isn't just the plight of the Third World that is motivating the protesters. Art Uncut says it also wants to draw attention to the impact it believes U2's tax arrangements are having on Ireland's public finances.

"We will be showing the very real impact of U2's tax avoidance on hospitals and schools in Ireland. Anyone watching will be very much aware that Bono needs to pay up," the same spokesman said.

U2 came in for heavy criticism in 2006 after shifting parts of their business affairs from Ireland to The Netherlands. Protesters at Glastonbury are planning to float an over-sized bundle of fake cash from one part of the crowd, under an Irish tricolour, to another section of the audience under a Dutch flag.

U2 manager Paul McGuinness, has in the past insisted: "U2 is a global business and pays taxes globally ... At least 95 per cent of U2's business ... takes place outside of Ireland and as a result the band pays many different kinds of taxes all over the world."

Sunday Independent