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

No, I am afraid not. I have a couple of minutes left and I am going to come to an end in a second. That is the House of Lords’ view, and it was very critical. For a House of Lords report, it was an incredibly critical report.

Let me turn to the motion and the all-party group’s approach. As I say, it is incredibly reasonable: let us have a review—a judge-led review or whatever—and take some time to sort this out. I am afraid I think that that is altogether too reasonable in the light of the pressure that is being created by this policy. People who are under this policy now are suffering mental strain day in, day out. They are not people who are ever going to find £20,000, and to say to them that they have five years to pay if they are—as one of my constituents is—on a minimum pension, is meaningless. It just means his house or his car has to go, and his family is breaking up under the strain.

My view is very simple: this should not be retrospective at all before 2017—at all—because there is no reason for it whatsoever, given the behaviour of HMRC. If we do not get something like that—I say this to the Treasury, and they can add this into their accounting—I, and I suspect many others in this House, will start to pursue a right in law for every citizen that limits the extent to which the state, and particularly HMRC, can take any retroactive action whatsoever against persons, not companies, such as the Vodafones, but against individuals, because it seems to me that we owe a duty to our constituents to have some certainty from the state in relation to the taxes they pay.