This is the second time in two appearances that Philip Hammond—the Chancellor of the Exchequer—gave a false statement before the Treasury Select Committee about the loan charge. The revelation came from the spokesperson, executive committee member, founder member, and contract from the LCAG (Loan Charge Action Group).
While it is possible that an individual may have been careless once but repeated course of action reveal a more sinister pattern. The word ‘sinister’ has recently been mixed with HMRC and the Treasury for their misinformation campaign regarding the loan charge.
Still, one of the leading proponents of this campaign, Mel Stride, the Treasury Minister was recently promoted by the government and became the Leader of the House of Commons. Actions like these can help one understand the lack of faith in people for politics.
With inadequate and minimal parliamentary scrutiny, the loan charge was finally introduced along with a massively distorted impact assessment. It seems as HMRC and the Treasury believe that they can pass this highly-controversial policy into law, without much resistance and criticism.
Unsurprisingly, hard-working people are in constant fear and lawyers scorned the horrifying approach used by this policy at hurting the basic taxpayer rights while at the same time, undermining the rule of law. As a consequence, the number of parliamentarians—who are raising objections—is increasing day by day. As the loan charge’s details were revealed along with HMRC’s conduct and attitude with it, concerns became criticism till it was concluded that this is institutionalised disinformation and poor policy-making.
Consequently, the chancellor’s reputation took a rightful hit. In response, the chancellor tried to attack those who were the most vocal in their criticisms of the loan charge: Loan Charge Action Group. However, while doing this, he was guilty of making one more false statement. Mr. Hammond falsely pinned the blame on one of the individuals serving the Secretariat of the Loan Charge APPG role and accused that they promoted the tax avoidance schemes—a claim that was not only false but outright ridiculous.
The chancellor was obviously supported by others within the HMRC as well and indirectly fired an attack on the LCAG. It is disgraceful that how cynically and consistently the HMRC and Treasury have spread fake information in the entire episode. It seems evident that it all began when HMRC tried to cover up the loss of human lives because of the loan charge, along with their historic long-standing failure to resolve the loan arrangement issue.