Dear Prime Minister,
On behalf of my constituents facing the Loan Charge, I’m writing to urge you to reconsider this highly unfair policy, pause the rollout and undertake a review into the way people have been treated throughout this process. I hear on a near daily basis from constituents about the immense emotional, mental and physical strain this is putting on them and their families, not least because of the way HMRC is pursuing them so harshly.
I welcomed your confirmation during the Carlisle leg of the recent leadership hustings that the policy needs a thorough, independent review. I hope that now that it is your power to do so as our new Prime Minister, you will follow through on this as a matter of priority.
I agreed with your comments describing the Loan Charge as “superficially unjust”. As you rightly pointed out, my constituents are now being “retrospectively pursued for what they were told was an entirely legal option”.
At the time, my constituents were doing what they believed to be perfectly legal on the advice of tax professionals - who remain active without consequence - and in full transparency with HMRC. It is not acceptable that my constituents are being pushed to bankruptcy and having their lives torn apart for doing what they were told was compliant, and often with their employer requiring it. Neither is it acceptable that those who issued such false guidance are not being pursued in the same way, and instead the burden is falling on hardworking, ordinary people in my community and across the country. In this regard, the retrospective aspect of this legislation is fundamentally wrong and unjust.
I share your concerns about the fairness of this policy and urge you to make good on your promise to pause the rollout of the Loan Charge whilst an urgent inquiry can be held to assess its damaging impact.
For the sake of my constituents in Watford, the very real consequences of this must be assessed with grave urgency.
Richard Harrington MP