It is an honour to speak in this important debate. In January last year, Labour’s shadow Treasury Minister said of the impending deadline for people to pay the loan charge by April next year:
“We cannot let vulnerable people who have been exploited end up with massive tax debts hanging over their heads for many years to come. If we see bankruptcies, failing businesses, repossessions and even suicide, that will be because this Government have not done the outreach needed and not invested in adequate training.”—[Official Report, 20 November 2018;
Vol. 649, c. 291WH.]
I am sorry to say that on 1 April we heard that HMRC had reported itself to the police over the death of an individual who had been notified of a loan charge bill. It was the first time that HMRC had felt it had been given sufficient evidence to link a death to the loan charge. I do not know any details about the case and I do not want to speculate, but it was a tragic loss of life and a reminder to all of us of what is at stake.