FILM ACTOR Ray Winstone has attracted ridicule after claiming high taxes could drive him out of Britain "quite soon". Winstone, famed for his 'hard man' roles in films like Sexy Beast and The Sweeney, told Talksport radio: "I love this country, but I've had enough of it, I don't see what we're being given back. I just see the country being raped."
He then went on: "I drive down the road and there's more holes in the road than what there is in a tennis racket, you know."
Ray Winstone's comments were picked up by Twitter users, one of whom wrote: "We cannot allow a national treasure like Ray Winstone to leave the UK. We MUST lower all taxes NOW".
Another, a journalist, asked "Has Ray Winstone gone yet?" and Londoner tweeter said he could "live without such daft comments" in the event of the actor making good on his threat.
And it wasn't just Winstone's sentiments that annoyed people - his language also attracted opprobrium. Shadow equalities minister Kate Green told a daily newspaper that his use of the word "rape" could be "upsetting and hurtful" to survivors. "Rape is a vicious and utterly wicked attack on people which can leave them emotionally and often physically scarred. It's wrong to equate that with having to pay your taxes", she said.
Kate Green's criticism is unlikely to bother the 56-year-old. During his controversial interview Winstone said he "wouldn't trust any" politicians, adding: "Maybe we should all stop voting and then something would be done about it".
Gerard Depardieu left France to move to Russia to avoid huge tax bills and David Beckham only signed a contract for PSG for 5 months to avoid huge tax bills. So Ray Winstone is not the first celebrity to claim they will leave the UK over high taxes. Tracey Emin the artist, also said she would leave the country over the 50p tax in 2009. And fellow actor, Michael Caine, left the country from 1979 to 1986 to avoid high UK taxes - but that was to escape a top rate of 82p in the pound.... Now not a lot of people know that!
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