Tag Archives: loan charge

Ed Davey’s speech in the Loan Charge debate: We will not stop until this is put right

Before the roof of the Commons chamber started leaking this week (something you couldn’t make up), Ed Davey managed to make his speech in the backbench business debate calling on the Government to stop pursuing people for the Loan Charge, a retrospective income tax enforcement of a  scheme that was legal at the time.

Here’s his speech in full including interventions.

I apologise to the right hon. Member for Haltemprice and Howden (Mr Davis) for being the chair of an all-party group that has produced such a reasonable report. We did it because we wanted to be constructive and to bring this House together. I want to draw attention to two points: first, the fact that this issue has brought the House together, and I will talk a little bit about that because it is in the power of this House to stop the Executive on this matter; and secondly, the nature of the retrospection, which is the issue that has caused me, as well as my constituents with such cases, to be so passionate about this issue.

First, on cross-party unity, I pay tribute to the hon. Member for Aberdeen South (Ross Thomson), a vice-chair, who opened the debate, and the hon. Member for Brentford and Isleworth (Ruth Cadbury) and all the other members of the all-party group, which represents six parties in this House. I thank all Members who spoke on Report of the Finance (No. 3) Bill, when we passed the amendment—quite unusually—because we had cross-party support from every side and political persuasion both between and within parties.

There is a reason why we got that support. It is because our constituents have come to us and we have seen the damage this is doing to their lives—real lives—but also because key principles of democracy are at stake: parliamentary sovereignty, if we can forget the Brexit debate for a minute, with respect to holding the Executive properly to account for the way they tax our constituents, and the rule of law. Those issues have brought this House together, and today we need to continue with that message and make it clear to the Minister and the Government that we are not going away until this is put right.

Stephen Lloyd

When my right hon. Friend opened, he spoke about cross-party support. As he knows, since I started early-day motion 1239, whenever it was—nine or 10 months ago—the cross-party support has been astonishing: 148 MPs from all parties, including many Conservative Members, have now supported it because they really do have concerns about the retrospectiveness and the fairness. Does my right hon. Friend agree that Parliament is really coming together and saying, “There is a real problem and a real challenge here. Treasury, please look at it”?

Ed Davey

I strongly agree with my hon. Friend and I thank him for the work he did in leading that EDM. The cross-party nature and depth of support should make the Minister think today. People have been looking at the way this House operates more closely than they usually do. They need to know that when this House comes together, the Government listen. It is our constitutional job to make the Government listen. When there is that level of support and they do not listen, that is an outrage to this House.

Jim Cunningham

I agree with the right hon. Gentleman: it is about time that the Government listened. Regardless of the issue, retrospective legislation can be a dangerous thing. In some instances it might be justifiable, but by and large and in principle, it is a very dangerous thing. The other point that has emerged from this debate is that those who encouraged people in their employment to get involved in such schemes should be the ones to pay up, not the victim. Does he not agree?

Ed Davey

I agree with the hon. Gentleman. Let me take his point on retrospection into the substance of my speech.

Everybody has paid tribute to the Minister and I join in that, but I urge him to look at the retrospection issue. The all-party group has spoken to tax professionals and has read a lot of material. There is a debate about whether aspects of this are retrospective or not, and about where the retrospection lies. One group has been hit by the loan charge where the retrospective nature has been proven beyond doubt: taxpayers who have had their tax returned to the Treasury with DOTAS added—sometimes even without DOTAS added—and who have come clean on everything they have been doing. HMRC has accepted that and has not opened an inquiry. Their cases have been closed and time has passed. Under section 9 of the Taxes Management Act 1970, we have been giving taxpayers in that situation total protection from HMRC coming back to them. That has been true for decades. Indeed, we have signed international conventions to say that that is the way individuals should be treated. Yet here we are, going back on that. To be clear to the Minister, all the tax professionals we talked to believe that for closed cases, that was a transgression. Indeed, I asked them if they could find any example on the statute book ever of a Government passing a law to override taxpayer protections and they could not.

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5 April 2019 – today’s overnight press release

Lib Dems: Govt must not shirk responsibility over loan charge

Liberal Democrat MP Ed Davey has criticised the implementation of the the Loan Charge which is coming into force today. He has been the leading figure in the cross-party campaign against its introduction.

Commenting on its introduction, Ed Davey said:

My campaign to stop the abuse of power by the Treasury in how it has introduced the Loan Charge has now won huge cross-party support.

The Chancellor must listen to Parliament: by applying the Loan Charge to past tax years, the Conservative Government has broken long-standing tax principles and in so doing is

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8 January 2019 – today’s press releases

It seems that, no matter how late I publish this feature, the Press Team are still up and working. Last night, the final press release came out at 11.58 p.m., so is included in today’s batch…

  • Drone reforms are vague and lack resources
  • Social housing neglect due to lack of political will
  • Dover delay is a national embarrassment
  • Cable: Bumbling Govt taking ‘Dad’s Army’ approach to Brexit
  • Lib Dems: Govt defeat shows no deal not an option
  • Lib Dems: Drone sighting shows urgent need for regulation
  • Lib Dems defeat Govt on loan charges

Drone reforms are vague and lack resources

Responding to the Government annoucement that the police will …

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