Loan Charge

Part of Brunei – in the House of Commons at 1:07 pm on 4th April 2019.

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Photo of David Davis David Davis Conservative, Haltemprice and Howden 1:07 pm, 4th April 2019

My hon. Friend makes a powerful point. I am not going to make a political point out of this, but I will make a policy point. When I was the Public Accounts Committee Chairman 20 years ago, it would not be true to say that the Inland Revenue behaved like a charity. It was always pretty tough, but in the last 20 years it seems to me that the exercise of its judgment has become more and more oriented to cash and less to justice. That is what we are addressing today. Part of the reason for that is that successive Chancellors have blurred the distinction between tax avoidance and tax evasion, one of which is illegal and one of which is a matter of judgment. That has put a huge burden on HMRC’s judgment, so that we see it effectively making the law through its judgment and in ways that are deleterious to our constituents.