A clutch of celebrities including Michael Caine, the Arctic Monkeys, Katie Melua and George Michael are said to have sheltered money in the Liberty tax avoidance scheme, according to The Times this morning. The paper also named Take That crooner Gary Barlow, BBC presenter Anne Robinson and former Tottenham Hotspur and England midfielder Darren Anderton.
The revelations will no doubt cause particular problems for those among the scheme’s participants who have previously boasted about how they enjoy paying tax. For example, Katie Melua was nominated for ChristianAid’s ‘Tax Superhero Award’ after she said that she was happy to pay tax because she had “seen what it is like living in a country where people don’t pay tax and have poor services in terms of health and education“, claiming she paid “nearly half of what comes to me in taxes“.
But beyond the public relations troubles for the stars, the news only reinforces how powerful the case for serious, fundamental tax reform has become.
Last night, reacting to the reports, our Chief Executive Jonathan Isaby said:
Ordinary taxpayers are understandably angry at those seemingly not paying their fair share, be they celebrities or anyone else. But it’ll keep happening until politicians act to make the tax system simpler and fairer. The case for serious tax reform is now stronger than ever – lower rates, simpler rules, no exceptions.
Quite. Politicians need to start implementing a much clearer, much simpler and much fairer tax system. Our Single Income Tax plan shows them how to do it.