One Direction

Popular boyband One Direction have urged fans to lobby George Osborne to maintain the UK’s international aid budget and crack down on corporate tax avoidance.

The boys are offering free concert tickets to fans who join Global Citizen (an international group with the aim of ending global poverty) and email a letter to the Chancellor before next week’s Budget.

The letter will ask George Osborne to maintain the UK’s current commitment to devote 0.7% of national income to the international development budget, and invest further in cracking down on corporate tax avoidance.

The commitment, which will be met for the first time this year, has come under scrutiny from some Tory backbenchers who want the development budget curbed and funds redirected to British projects.

A spokesman for Global Citizen said:

“With public opinion on development mixed, the email will urge the government not to cut funding, which would risk millions of lives around the world.

“The letter will also encourage the government to crack down on company tax avoidance by British companies in the developing world, which hampers progress in those states.”

The band have said how proud they are to join so many ‘amazing artists’, all aiming to inspire people to take action against extreme poverty.

The band did come under criticism in 2012 when it changed its registered addresses to Irish accountancy firm Live Wire Business Management and became directors of their own company. It was alleged at this time that they had done so in order to reduce their tax bills.

Photo by Eva Rinaldi