I have huge sympathy with my constituents caught by loan charge repayments, because they are normal honest people who thought they were doing the right thing. They had no intention of diddling the taxation system.
Most people who owe loan charge repayments accept that they are now liable to pay that tax back. What I find unacceptable is the amount of interest that is heaped on that tax requirement. My plea to the Minister—as he knows, because I have spoken to him separately about this—is to reconsider the interest charges. In my view, they are far too high and, as a decent gesture—because these people did act decently—the interest charges should be dropped entirely. Such a move would go a long way to lessen concerns among my constituents, and it would be a fair way to proceed, bearing in mind HMRC’s lack of warning to participants in loan schemes.