Simon English: This incentive may make Bono change his tune


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The Independent Online

Outlook To prevent large businesses such as Barclays or U2 from scarpering overseas, Britain must have a competitive tax regime, they say.

How about introducing some competition in the other direction?

The Government should publish a list each year of the top 100 taxpayers in the country. There'd be a corporate list and an individual one. The winners get a medal and lunch with the Queen. There'd be fierce competition to move up the table. Chief executives' bonuses would be directly linked to how much tax their companies paid. Accountants would be employed to fiddle the numbers so companies handed over more than they owed. Sir Philip Green would brag to Kate Moss about the size of his payments. My tax return's bigger than Roman Abramovich's yacht, darlin'.

He and Simon Cowell would engage in Twitter warfare about which of them gave more to the Exchequer and was therefore a better bloke. Forbes would do an annual tax list. There'd be TV spin-offs.

Bono would suddenly realise how laughable his charitable work looks as long as he's paying tax in Holland. He'd apologise for absolutely everything and insist on paying backdated refunds.

It could happen.