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Tax Avoidance and War Widows

Treasury written question – answered on 12th February 2020.

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Photo of Julian Lewis Julian Lewis Conservative, New Forest East

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on the consistent application of the principle of retrospectivity in the cases of the (a) loan charge and (b) war widows' pension.

Photo of Jesse Norman Jesse Norman Financial Secretary to the Treasury and Paymaster General

The Loan Charge is not retrospective as it is a new charge on disguised remuneration loan balances which were outstanding at 5 April 2019.

However, Sir Amyas Morse’s independent Review recommended that the Loan Charge should be applied to disguised remuneration loans which were entered into on 9 December 2010 or afterwards, as the law about the tax treatment of these loans was clear from this date. The Government accepted this recommendation.

It has been the policy of successive Governments that changes to public service pension and compensation schemes should not be applied retrospectively where benefits have already been awarded. The Government currently has no plans to reinstate war widows’ pensions with retrospective effect.

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