Loan Charge

Part of Brunei – in the House of Commons at 2:41 pm on 4th April 2019.

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Photo of Justin Madders Justin Madders Labour, Ellesmere Port and Neston 2:41 pm, 4th April 2019

I will carry on.

The HMRC statement says:

“The government anticipates that some of these individuals will become insolvent as a result.”

It also says that the measure

“is not expected to have a material impact on family formation, stability or breakdown.”

I find that statement unbelievable on two counts. First, it is unbelievable how little understanding or empathy there is for those facing bankruptcy. Anyone who has spent more than five minutes in the real world will know that individual insolvency has a massive impact on families. My other huge reservation about that statement is that it appears to say that no assessment has been made of the number of bankruptcies, yet it claims that there will be “some” insolvencies. If people have to be made bankrupt, I think we are all clear that something has gone terribly wrong.

Finally—and before we get the paddles out—I would like to ask the Government to think about what kind of message this whole mess is sending out to entrepreneurs, the people the Conservative party used to consider the bedrock of its support. Under this Government, those people are being left with the distinct impression that HMRC is prioritising the recovery of tax revenue over justice by targeting individuals rather than the promoters of the schemes, many of whom still enjoy generous contracts with Government. They knew what they were doing but appear to have accepted no responsibility for their actions and faced no consequences. The suggestion that some public sector employers were insisting that the people paying the price now would only be employed if they agreed to accept the kind of contract that HMRC is now declaring unlawful is an outrage.