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Review of effects on public finances

Part of Finance (No. 3) Bill – in the House of Commons at 7:15 pm on 8th January 2019.

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Photo of Anne Main Anne Main Conservative, St Albans 7:15 pm, 8th January 2019

My hon. Friend is exactly right. There are many versions of that story. I have constituents who say that HMRC was made aware of these arrangements but no objection was raised until many years later. That has to be fundamentally wrong. What more due diligence can anyone do?

I will conclude, because I know the right hon. Member for Kingston and Surbiton wishes to speak. The huge pressure and distress—even suicidal thoughts—that this measure has put in people’s minds is totally unacceptable. I say to the Minister: if we do nothing else tonight, can we accept new clause 26? There is a clear ambiguity in the law that applied at the time—perhaps clarity has been provided now. The fact that people cannot negotiate a reasonable settlement even though they acted in good faith at the time, and are being pursued to the point of the destruction of their careers, homes, family lives and marriages, is completely unacceptable. We clearly need a review, and I hope the Minister takes that on board and accepts new clause 26. If it is pressed to a vote, I shall vote for it.