Statement by the Loan Charge APPG on the Report Stage of the Finance Bill and New Clause 31

Officers from the Loan Charge APPG commented today on the completion of the Finance Bill Report Stage during which New Clause 31 was debated. New Clause 31 was for the removal of the retrospective and punitive Loan Charge for anyone who did not deliberately evade tax. It would have merely restored the underlying tax position that existed in law at the time and would have restored the basic right of those affected to defend themselves within the legal system. The amendment was not put to a vote.

Commenting, the Loan Charge APPG Co-Chairs said:

Sir Ed Davey MP, Co-Chair of the Loan Charge APPG (Liberal Democrat):

“It’s hugely disappointing that there wasn’t a vote on New Clause 31 in the Finance Bill, a simple amendment to restore basic taxpayer rights and remove the retrospective Loan Charge. With 54 MPs signing this amendment and with so many others expressing concerns about retrospective taxation, we had hoped that the House of Commons might have backed this. The issue now goes to the House of Lords and whilst the Lords cannot remove the retrospection, we hope our members who are peers will again raise the injustice of the Loan Charge and call for changes. The Loan Charge APPG will continue to challenge the injustice of the Loan Charge and to speak up on behalf of those facing ruin”.

Ruth Cadbury MP, Co-Chair of the Loan Charge APPG (Labour):

“The Loan Charge APPG officers continue to believe that the retrospective Loan Charge is wrong and that this, and the way it denies the rights of people to defend themselves, undermines the rule of law. We will continue to raise this in both Houses of Parliament and will now focus on pushing HMRC to be far more reasonable and will continue to highlight unacceptable behaviour by them”.

Sir Mike Penning MP, Co-Chair of the Loan Charge APPG (Conservative):

“We still oppose the retrospective nature of the Loan Charge and believe this should be scrapped, but we also now call on the Government to consider a realistic voluntary settlement offer. This would allow people to pay a percentage of the disputed tax, as full and final settlement and to allow people to do this and get on with their lives, if they are able to make such a settlement. Such an approach would prevent the many bankruptcies which we expect and would actually be likely to bring in more revenue that the current unreasonable and punitive approach. So we urge the Treasury to consider this, or there will be many people who simply cannot pay with all the consequences that means for them and their families. We will continue to raise the Loan Charge Scandal and to scrutinise the actions of HMRC and we will continue to do all we can to speak up for those facing the unjust Loan Charge”.

[Ends]

Notes to Editors

1. The All-Party Parliamentary Loan Charge Group (Loan Charge APPG) is an official Parliamentary Group comprising of Parliamentarians of all parties from both Houses of Parliament. Members of the APPG have concerns about the nature and impact of the ‘2019 Loan Charge’ and they also have concerns about the wider context of fairness of tax legislation and about HMRC’s conduct in enforcing it. See loanchargeappg.co.uk and Twitter @LoanChargeAPPG. The Loan Charge APPG is an officially registered Parliamentary Group, as described on the UK Parliament website www.parliament.uk/about/mps-and-lords/members/apg/.

2. The Officers of the Loan Charge APPG are as follows:

  • Rt Hon. Sir Ed Davey MP, Co-Chair, MP for Kingston and Surbiton (Liberal Democrat)
  • Ruth Cadbury MP, Co-Chair, MP for Brentford and Isleworth (Labour)
  • Sir Mike Penning MP, Co-Chair, MP for Hemel Hempstead (Conservative)
  • Hon. Baroness Kramer, Vice-Chair (Liberal Democrat)
  • Rt Hon Sammy Wilson MP, MP for East Antrim, Vice-Chair (DUP)

3. The APPG’s Loan Charge Inquiry Report was published in April 2019 and can be found on the Loan Charge APPG’s website http://www.loanchargeappg.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Loan-Charge-Inquiry-Report-April-2019-FINAL.pdf

4. The APPG’s report on the Loan Charge FOI requests – Exposing HMRC interference in the supposedly ‘independent’ Loan Charge Review: The Truth as revealed by Freedom of Information was published on 29th June 2020 and can be found on the Loan Charge APPG’s website http://www.loanchargeappg.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/2020-06-29-Loan-Charge-APPG-report-on-the-FOI-exposing-that-the-Morse-Review-wasnt-independent.pdf