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Ray Winstone: Britain Is 'Being Raped' by High Taxes

Ray Winstone
Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

"I can see myself leaving," the actor known for tough-guy roles says. "There are more holes in the roads than a tennis racket."

LONDON - British actor Ray Winstone, known for tough-guy roles in such movies as The Departed, Sexy Beast and, most recently, The Sweeney, has criticized Britain's high taxes, saying people in the country were "being raped" by them.

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In an interview with U.K. radio station talkSport, the actor, who also appeared in Martin Scorsese's Hugo and Snow White and the Huntsman, said he could see himself moving elsewhere.

"I can see myself leaving. I love this country but I’ve had enough," the Independent quoted him as saying. "I don’t see what we are being given back. I just see the country being raped."

The Londoner added: "There are more holes in the roads than a tennis racket, we can’t build hospitals, and fire stations are closing."

Asked about his view on politicians, Winstone, a former boxer, said: "I wouldn't trust any of them. Maybe we should all stop voting and then something would be done about it."

The comments come after French film star Gerard Depardieu was also involved in a debate over taxes late last and early this year when French government leaders accused him of trying to dodge a proposed higher tax rate of 75 percent for millionaires. Depardieu was looking at a Belgian home near the French border, which was seen as his way of avoiding the proposed higher tax, which France's Constitutional Court later struck down.

Depardieu then got Russian citizenship. "I have a Russian passport, but I remain French, and I will probably have dual Belgian nationality," the actor later said. "But if I'd wanted to escape the taxman, as the French press say, I would have done it a long time ago."

Winstone had also threatened to leave the U.K. in 2008. In an interview back then, he said: "This country isn't going to the dogs. It's gone to the dogs. We're a mess. And do I really want to live in this mess anymore? I feel bad saying it, but I'm just not sure."

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com
Twitter: @georgszalai