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Loan Charge 2019: Sir Amyas Morse Review

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:52 pm on 19th March 2020.

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Photo of Sarah Olney Sarah Olney Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (International Trade), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) 2:52 pm, 19th March 2020

Madam Deputy Speaker, I will obey your instruction to be brief by merely commending the contributions to this debate from Mr Davis and my right hon. Friend Sir Edward Davey.

I merely add that, as a member of the accounting profession, I have been somewhat abashed during this debate. We are not coming out of this well. I was contacted by a constituent of mine, Dr Nausheed Baig, who is an NHS dentist. He is there to practise the skills of dentistry. He takes full responsibility for his tax affairs, and he does that by consulting a professional tax adviser. I believe that HMRC should always take into consideration the fact that taxpayers, in taking responsibility for their affairs, are not expected to be tax experts themselves, and it is perfectly reasonable and rational to consult and take advice from qualified accountants such as myself—I have never charged for tax advice, so I do not have a declaration to make.

I wish to raise the case of another constituent of mine, Mr Michael Bilton, who is now retired, and his wife is on the verge of retirement as well. Between them, they take care of their disabled daughter. Mr Bilton was in a loan scheme prior to 2010 and received notification only a few years ago of the large sums of tax that he was now required to pay. He has already paid a considerable sum. The outstanding liability is of considerable concern to him, as he and his wife prepare for retirement and to take proper care of their disabled daughter. I urge the Minister to think about those people who have already paid large sums. Sir Amyas Morse has confirmed that anything prior to 2010 should not be liable to a charge. I urge the Minister to consider rebates for those people who have paid vast sums already into a scheme that has now been judged not to give rise to a charge. I realise that there are considerably more pressing issues, but if that could be attended to in due course, I would be extremely grateful.