I am not enthusiastic about the tax affairs of public figures being paraded in public. Unless they have done something illegal, they surely have a right to privacy.
Jimmy Carr fell into a different bracket though. It is unacceptable for a comedian to make fun of “fat cat bankers” and then take advantage of a scheme that would make many bankers feel was a step too far. Similarly, Bono and Bob Geldoff cannot get away with lecturing governments on how to spend their money and expect their aggressive efforts to reduce their own tax payments to pass without comment.
Hypocrisy is not attractive.
It seems likely that now we are into the silly season for the press, attention will move from tax reduction schemes by celebrities to the much more complicated, and serious schemes operated by large companies. There are many companies whose tax affairs might come under scrutiny.
Airlines have been outspoken in their opposition to the increased levels of APD and government taxation in general. Their own tax affairs – of course – are a different matter. Virgin Atlantic is maybe the most obvious name but there are other British airlines that might feel they would be wiser to avoid discussing tax issues in future.