Mild-mannered U2 guitarist The Edge has lashed out at critics who have taken aim at the band's tax stance in an angry letter published in the Baltimore Sun newspaper.
The rocker and bandmate Bono have been accused of avoiding hefty tax bills in their native Ireland by moving their business operations to the Netherlands.
Protesters from anti-capitalist group Art Uncut staged a demonstration during the group's headlining show at the Glastonbury festival last month (Jun11) and a large balloon featuring the message, "U Pay Your Tax 2", briefly flew over the site as U2 performed.
Bono addressed the protests, insisting the accusations of tax evasion are wrong.
He told Britain's Daily Mail, "I'm all for protests. I've been protesting all of my life. I'm glad they got the chance to have their say. But, as it happens, what they're protesting about is wrong."
And now his bandmate is having his say, in response to a letter sent to the Sun from a federal worker who criticised Maryland Senator Benjamin Cardin for supporting Bono's anti-poverty One campaign, calling it "a lobbying group with no mandate or accountability" and adding "Bono exemplifies the worst characteristics of Wall Street, both for excess and tax evasion."
In his letter, The Edge rages, "The most serious inaccuracy is the totally false and possibly libelous accusation that U2 and Bono have, by moving a part of their business activities to Holland, been involved in tax evasion.
"For the record, U2 and the individual band members have a totally clean record with every jurisdiction to which they are required to pay tax and have never been and will never be involved in tax evasion."
"The Irish Ministry of Finance... have no problem with U2 basing some of their business activities in Holland... (and) U2 and its members have paid many, many millions of dollars in taxes to the United States Internal Revenue Service over the years."
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