Fifty MPs individually write 2019 Loan Charge objection letters

At least 44 MPs have followed the example of ContractorUK by writing their own letter of objection to the prime minister or chancellor about Loan Charge 2019.

Unlike the ContractorUK letter however, which was a coordinated objection by 11 contractor organisations, the letters by the MPs are all individually written, off their own backs.

Since the Loan Charge Action Group put the MP count to ContractorUK at 44 on Tuesday (it includes both public and private letters), Crispin Blunt and Andrew Selous have also written.

'Suitable resolution'

“I've written to the new prime minister Boris Johnson…asking [him to] take urgent action to rethink the highly unfair and harmful loan charge, affecting 50,000 people”, Mr Selous said.

“I have written…asking for an independent review”, said Mr Blunt. “We should ensure everyone pays their fair share of tax, but we must find a suitable resolution to this unfair retrospective charge.”

Among the 46, then, is Ruth Cadbury MP, who is a vice-chair of the Loan Charge APPG, the membership of which has increased to 151 MPs.

Many of those are among the 200 MPs who have signed their names to a letter to Treasury minister Jesse Norman, asking him to suspend and review the charge.

'Heart-breaking'

“Over the last year I’ve listened to the extremely moving and in some cases heart-breaking testimony about the impact of the loan charge”, Ms Cadbury wrote in her letter to chancellor Sajid Javid.

“We already know what the impact of the Loan Charge has been – bankruptcies, family breakdown and in tragic cases even suicide.”

The BBC yesterday used a segment of its Today programme to cover the impact of the Loan Charge, having spoken to ‘Gayle,’ the daughter of a Loan Charge contractor who took his own life, mainly due to the “shame” that she says he felt from HMRC wording in its letters.

'The shame, the stigma'

“He took his life because of the impact the loan charge had on him. He couldn’t deal with the shame, the stigma. He thought he was a criminal,” Gayle began.

“The waiting, the not knowing the outcome if it would ever end [drove him to such a dark place]. In [HMRC] letters, it says it’s the law. He believed he was a criminal and he wasn’t.”

Asked by BBC reporter Andy Verity how she knows that Loan Charge 2019 was behind her father’s suicide, Gayle explained: “He wrote a very long letter and said ‘I’m currently involved in a settlement scheme  for income tax avoidance known as Contractor Loan Settlements. I’m so so sorry but I just can’t take it anymore. Sorry, Sorry, Sorry, Sorry, Sorry.’”

'Sympathies'

Seeming to appeal to Mr Johnson, or Mr Javid, she then begged: “If someone would just listen; make it change, halt it. Don’t remain silent.”

The Today segment concluded with a quote from HMRC offerings its “sympathies” and saying it has a “special Disguised Remuneration Helpline.”

Iain Duncan Smith, the former Tory leader said yesterday: “I'm ashamed of my government, as politicians, for having allowed this [the Loan Charge] to go ahead.”

Fellow Conservative MP Ross Thomson, a vice chair of the Loan Charge APPG said: “I have launched a petition calling on the government to suspend the 2019 Loan Charge to allow for an independent review to take place. I would urge all of those affected to sign my petition to make your voices heard.”

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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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