More suicides will be a consequence of Loan Charge, chancellor is warned

A ninth person facing action from HM Revenue & Customs over disguised remuneration schemes has committed suicide.

This was the stark news the All-Party Parliamentary Loan Charge & Taxpayer Fairness Group told Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi in a letter dated 29 July [2022].

Some of the schemes are now subject to the retrospective Loan Charge, which could place people, especially those on lower incomes, into bankruptcies. Tens of thousands of people are affected, the letter said.

“This is tragic news and utterly devastating for the family concerned,” the letter said. “However, it was alas entirely predictable and also avoidable. We have warned successive chancellors and treasury ministers of the serious suicide risk from the Loan Charge and the overall current approach… to people who were mis-sold these schemes by professional advisers, including chartered accounts and tax advisers.

“We have recently undertaken a call for evidence and are deeply concerned at how many respondents – 15% of all who responded – who have reported suicidal thoughts or intent.”

Signed by members of Parliament Greg Smith, Sammy Wilson and Baroness Kramer, the APPG letter calls on the chancellor to “show some leadership on this issue as well as some much-needed compassion and commons sense… There is a pressing need, in light of this latest tragedy, for a review that is fully independent of the Treasury and HMRC”. 

The letter said such a review had to look at how the policy was conceived and why the HMRC impact statement ignored the predicted issues.

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