Sir Graham Brady joins 113 MPs in open letter loan charge protest to PM
The influential chair of a powerful Conservative backbench committee has become the 114th MP to add his name to a letter calling Boris Johnson to “finally” write off the Loan Charge as unfair.
Sir Graham Brady, freshly re-elected as the 1922 committee chair, last night signed his name to the open letter, which calls the prime minister to “resolve” the HMRC policy “once and for all.”
Also addressed to the chancellor, the letter alerts the PM to “new information” which has come to light through Freedom of Information disclosures, and which its 114 authors say “highlights the injustice” of the charge.
Tory veteran Sir Graham adding his name to it, alongside the names of MPs from all main parties, coincides with Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer saying last week that he would 'take away the issue and look at' it again.
Already associated with the suicides of seven people, the loan charge being duly enforced by HMRC will lead to “thousands of bankruptcies” and “for many” individuals, will “prevent them from working again or paying any taxes.”
'Conisder all options'
A vocal critic of coronavirus lockdowns, so known to be a thorn in the prime minister’s side, Sir Graham and his 113 co-signatories further tell Mr Johnson in the letter:
“We urge you to finally accept that the loan charge is not fair and to consider all options to resolve this issue, fairly and practically, once and for all, to end this nightmare for tens of thousands of UK families”.
Steve Packham, founder of lobbyist-turned-support group LCAG, said: “It’s great news that the chairman of the 1922 Committee Sir Graham Brady has signed this important open letter to the prime minister and the chancellor about the loan charge scandal.
“This shows the level of concern on the Conservative backbenches over the loan charge and the impact it will have on thousands of families.”
'What the law was at the time'
Last night, Mr Packham pointed out to ContractorUK that had Labour’s leadership supported David Davis MP’s key loan charge amendment last year, the government would have been defeated.
Now, giving rise to fresh hope that the party’s leader could add his name to the 114 MPs pushing to drop the charge, Sir Keir told LBC: “People set up their tax arrangements according to what the law was at the time -- in good faith.”
Formerly head of the Crown Prosecution Service, the MP for Holborn and St Pancras also said on the radio programme that he would reply to a constituent who had reached out to him about the loan charge -- Keith Gordon, a leading tax barrister critical of the HMRC policy.
'Further suicides likely'
Sir Keir said Mr Gordon “absolutely has got a point” about the injustice of the loan charge, after the barrister was quoted on the programme as saying the Labour leader (among others) should be “screaming from the rooftops” about its unfairness.
LCAG’s Mr Packham agrees. “It’s clear that the loan charge remains a matter of real concern in parliament,” he says. “We hope even more MPs will sign this letter and continue to push for a fair resolution to this injustice to avoid the inevitable bankruptcies and further suicides that are likely otherwise.”