2019 Loan Charge

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Bim Afolami: I agree with my hon. Friend’s focus on the individuals involved. Does he agree that the retrospective nature of the measure is not just a matter for the rule of law in the abstract, but that it undermines the trust of those people and their families and communities in our Government and our legal system, and will do so for generations to come?

Peter Aldous: I thank my hon. Friend for his intervention—he has a crystal ball, because he has foretold the next item in my speech.

The people affected have become a target. They are vulnerable people. They are not well paid and do not receive many of the benefits and protections that payroll employees do: sick pay, holiday pay and maternity and paternity leave. I would be grateful if my hon. Friend the Minister could advise us when he sums up the debate of whether the impact assessment has looked at the personal circumstances of the individuals who are being pursued, whether they are able to pay and what the impact will be on their lives.

My second point, which my hon. Friend Bim Afolami foretold, is that the basis on which the 2019 loan charge has been introduced and many individuals are now being pursued is that it is retrospective. It undermines the cornerstone of taxation, which is that a Government should not seek to impose or increase a tax charge on income earned, gains realised or transactions concluded at a time before the legislation was announced.


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