Halt and review 2019 Loan Charge, 175 MPs tell Treasury minister

Informal calls to Treasury minister Jesse Norman to halt and review loan charge 2019 have snowballed into a formal letter, attracting the signatures of 175 MPs in just a few days.

Trying to appeal to his ‘Compassionate Conservatism’ side, the MPs tell Mr Norman that a pause and review of the now in-force charge would be the “right and responsible” thing to do.

The letter to the new minister points out that, in its current form, the April charge is “not supported by a majority of MPs,” as a House of Commons debate on April 11th showed.

Since then, Boris Johnson MP, the current frontrunner to replace Theresa May as Tory party leader when she steps down on June 7th, has been called to intervene and suspend the charge.

But although it contains a few leadership hopefuls, including the Liberal Democrats’ Jo Swinson and the Tories’ Esther McVey, the letter has not been signed by Mr Johnson.

Nevertheless, the letter signals the biggest show of MP-support for freezing the charge, as it has won more signatures than an EDM (155 signatures) and a letter to Mel Stride (160 signatures).

Unifying both letters is what the MPs want.  

“We urge you to announce a 6-month delay today to give peace of mind to thousands of people and their families and to allow for a proper review,” the letter to Mr Norman states.

A number of individuals have taken to Twitter to reflect on -- or warn of -- what the letter goes onto to highlight to the potential Tory leadership contender – “huge anxiety,” and even suicide. 

“I think I’ll lose my best friend to this,” wrote one, referring to the loan charge 2019.

“He talks about ending it. He has a wife and three kids. What upsets me most is I already lost one of my closest mates to cancer and that was not preventable but this is, and yet the government won’t act.”

Another Tweeted: “I served 10 years in the MoD when I left and tried to earn a living from the skills I acquired [but] I was duped into signing up to a scheme that was marketed to keep me clear of IR35. I am now on medication and going to lose my house”.

And a third, hinting at hypocrisy, stated: “I got a ‘hand signed’ letter from Mel Stride myself, which I forwarded to the [Loan Charge] APPG. He assured me they wouldn’t make anyone bankrupt, and today I got a letter from the Revenue saying they’re bankrupting me on 5th June.”

“We have received so much evidence of wholly unacceptable HMRC conduct towards people facing the loan charge,” the APPG reflected. “We implore Jesse [Norman] to listen and act.”

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Written by Simon Moore

Simon writes impartial news and engaging features for the contractor industry, covering, IR35, the loan charge and general tax and legislation.
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