Over 70 MPs write to Stride ahead of Loan Charge debate response

The reprieve that HM Treasury was granted from a leaky roof on Thursday won’t last long, as the Loan Charge debate has been scheduled to conclude this week -- on April 11th.

It means Mel Stride MP, financial secretary to the Treasury and the minister responsible, will soon have to reply to the droves of MPs who used the debate to urge the charge’s suspension.

In fact, a letter issued to Mr Stride on Friday afternoon urging him to immediately shelve the loan charge, which took effect on Friday, has so far been signed by more than 70 MPs.

But the minister has already refused their chief demand, because the letter asks him to suspend the charge “today” – April 5th, “to give peace of mind” to the 50,000 people affected.

“If you do not do this”, wrote the letter’s first signatory, the Loan Charge APPG, “then when the [rescheduled] debate is concluded, we are minded to push the motion to a vote to demand that you change course and suspend the loan charge.”

Another sign that the Treasury has decided to refuse to change course came at four o’clock in the morning on Saturday, when guidance on ‘how to report a DR loan’ was quietly updated.

According to a record of the online page, the update is on how affected HMRC customers can send their loan charge details using an online widget, and a link has been included.

The update will disappoint the APPG. “With the huge anxiety thousands of people are facing, we believe that a pause and a review is vital and the right and responsible thing to do,” the group tells Mr Stride in their letter.

“You cannot deny any longer the huge weight of concern amongst MPs, including many in your own party: it was clear today that the loan charge in its current form is not supported by a majority of MPs. We urge you, as the Rt Hon Cheryl Gillan MP said, to listen to and act upon the will of the House.”

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