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Loan Charge 2019: Sir Amyas Morse Review

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:29 pm on 19th March 2020.

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Photo of David Davis David Davis Conservative, Haltemprice and Howden 1:29 pm, 19th March 2020

If the hon. Lady will forgive me, I am trying to constrain my speech to 15 minutes, and it is beginning to be a struggle with so many interventions.

In summary, these people are now suffering because of a history of poorly drafted regulation and legislation and poor management by HMRC, targeted on the wrong people.

On many occasions, the Minister and his predecessor have told me and the House that the loan charge is not retrospective. In his report, Sir Amyas Morse states:

“The Loan Charge can look back 20 years…This design has been described by HMT as ‘retroactive’.”

The report describes the loan charge throughout as backward looking. HMRC denies that it is retrospective; it says it is retroactive. If I may say so, that is a distinction without a difference. When I looked up “retrospective” in a thesaurus, guess what it said? It defined the word as “retroactive or backward looking”.