PDF letter here

Rt Hon Sajid Javid
Chancellor of the Exchequer
11 Downing Street
2 December 2019

Dear Chancellor,

Re: Publication of the Independent Loan Charge Review report

We welcome your statement of 30th November 2019 (MoneyBox, Radio 4) that the Loan Charge Review is expected to report back this year. We are writing to ask you to confirm that this means the full report will be published once parliament resumes and before the Christmas recess which is expected to begin on, or about, 19th December. This is essential so that all interested parties, and in particular the newly elected MPs, who represent their impacted constituents, will be able to swiftly and fully digest the report’s findings and the recommendations.

With the Christmas period fast approaching, we are extremely concerned for the well-being of our members. We have several members who are receiving daily attention from the volunteers of our emergency helpline and we are aware of a great many others who are under severe stress, many of whom are under medical supervision including prescribed anti-depressants. As you are aware, there have already been several suicides of people facing the Loan Charge and we anticipate the suicide risk to become acute in coming months.

It is our opinion that it would be grossly irresponsible not to postpone the Loan Charge deadline of 31st January 2020. Particularly so, if the review makes recommendations that will take significant time for parliament to consider, to debate and to decide whether to implement. In the current political climate, this could take months. For people to have their entire future subject to the ebb and flow of weeks of deliberations and the legislative process would, we believe, be unbearable for them. A suspension is essential in order to avert tragedies that will otherwise occur. We call on you to publicly commit to suspend the Loan Charge deadline if the report makes any such recommendations that will require parliamentary scrutiny.

To summarise, we are asking you to:

  • Confirm that you are committing that the report of the Loan Charge Review will be published in full before parliament enters recess.
  • Further, commit that you will order an immediate suspension of the Loan Charge if this would be necessary for the new parliament to fulfil its constitutional role in scrutinising the report’s findings.

We look forward to your reply.

Kind Regards,

Steve Packham        Andrew Earnshaw