IRON MAIDEN frontman Bruce Dicksinson spoke to The Wall Street Journal about his recently launched aircraft maintenance business, Cardiff Aviation Ltd, which is based at the Twin Peaks Hangar at St Athan, Vale of Glamorgan in Wales, United Kingdom. Dickinson, a qualified commercial pilot, and his company are leasing the 132,000 square-foot hangar from the Welsh government.
Asked if — given the costs, regulations and rigamarole in Britain — he’s ever considered taking his projects to the U.S., Dickinson said: “Well sadly, I think I’d rather open a business in [the U.K.] than the U.S. The U.S. is — it’s a minefield. Open a business in California? You must be joking. The lawyers, the taxes — people talk about high taxes here. Well, yes they are high, but in America, in the places you might really want to open a business — New York, L.A. — you’ve got state taxes, city taxes, state income taxes, city income taxes — you add that lot up, you’re paying more over there than [in Britain].”
While Dickinson spends quite a bit of time on tour with IRON MAIDEN, the singer is still closely involved in the business, holding meetings with potential customers and keeping in close touch with developments in South Wales.
“No, I’m not a famous British tax exile,” Dickinson told The Wall Street Journal, confirming that he pays the current 50% rate outright on his personal income (dropping to 45% in April). “I live [in the U.K.]. And I pay my tax here. Whilst I think the rate of tax is too high, I like living here.”