Loan Charge

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:01 pm on 11th April 2019.

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Photo of Stephen Metcalfe Stephen Metcalfe Conservative, South Basildon and East Thurrock 4:01 pm, 11th April 2019

Madam Deputy Speaker, I hear what you say loud and clear, but I did want to allow Members to intervene because I think it allows them to get their points on the record.

The point that my right hon. Friend Sir Michael Fallon raised is completely valid. We need to be throwing the net wider to recover some of this money.

I reiterate that my constituent acted only under advice from a chartered accountant, with tax counsel’s opinion, so although everyone has a duty to pay the tax they owe, this feels off. It feels like a retrospective tax grab. We know that it is causing great stress, anxiety and depression. We know that there have been three suicides associated with it. It cannot be right and surely we must have a duty to look at it again.

If I may, I shall quote my constituent, who says:

“Very simply, if the loan charge is not delayed, and comes in as it is, it will destroy my quality of life and that of my family. It may well prevent me from working and lead me into bankruptcy. It has already caused me to suffer extreme stress, and is causing huge anxiety for my family. If the Government ploughs on with this retrospective legislation, it will be responsible for devastating the lives of families across generations.”

I will leave it there.

Will the Minister seriously consider a delay in implementation and a removal of the retrospective nature of the charge, so that it certainly does not go back further than 2017, when the charges were first announced? I hope that he will build on the assurances that he has given Members who have written to him—I am very grateful for those reassurances—by finding other mitigating measures, so that we can demonstrate, as a House, that we can respond positively and that we are capable not only of listening to, but of hearing and acting upon, the words of the people who come to us, asking for our representation.