U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron described comedian Jimmy Carr as immoral after he was reported to be sheltering more than 3 million pounds ($4.7 million) in income a year from tax.
The Times newspaper reported yesterday that Carr used a tax-avoidance plan named K2, based on the Channel Island of Jersey, to avoid paying tax on the bulk of his income. The newspaper today named Gary Barlow, a singer with the band Take That who was awarded an honor by Queen Elizabeth II last week, as among those using a different mechanism to avoid tax.
The prime minister, speaking in Mexico following the Group of 20 summit, said he hadn’t had time to study the allegations against Barlow, who campaigned for his Conservatives during the 2010 election. Cameron’s office had earlier today defended giving Barlow an honor on the grounds of the work he did for the queen’s Diamond Jubilee this month.
“Some of these schemes where people are parking huge amounts of money offshore and taking loans back to just minimize their tax rate, it is just not morally acceptable,” Cameron told ITV News. “Think of all those people who work hard, who pay their taxes, and out of their post-tax income save up to see Jimmy Carr. He’s taking that money and stuffing it into something where he doesn’t have to pay tax on it. That is not fair. That is not right. It isn’t morally right to do that.”
Carr’s management didn’t respond to a call and an e-mail requesting comment. Barlow’s record company didn’t reply to a phone call seeking comment.