Loan Charge Victims Discuss Their Suicide Attempts

Regular readers will know the shocking statistic that 10 suicides have been directly linked to HMRC’s abhorrent Loan Charge policy.  In addition, there has also been a number of attempted suicides, two of whom have now decided to speak out about their experience.  Last week they shared their story for the first time with Sky News.

“I went for a drink. And I don’t remember – I know why I did it – but I don’t remember making the decision to do it. The next thing I truly remember is waking up in St Thomas’ Hospital with a dislocated shoulder and blood all over my face. Because I stepped in front of a minicab.”

Impossible to understand

Reading about their experience is hard-hitting and impossible to comprehend.  It is difficult to understand how the government can allow a tax policy to drive people to such desperation.  It is difficult to understand how a policy imposing such epic financial sanctions came to be legislation in the first place.  And it is impossible to understand why HMRC continues to impose their brutal policy despite the widely acknowledged suicide risk, and are doing so largely unchallenged.

The final straw 

Another victim who attempted suicide describes the final straw of receiving a letter from HMRC on Easter Saturday last year.

“There was no one to ring to talk to. There was no way to contact the HMRC office or the number on the letter,” he said.

His mother found him shortly afterwards.  Her son had overdosed.

Astonishingly, HMRC contacted him again while he was recovering in hospital, which he said “compounded the stress and the trauma they put me through”.

Absolute exhaustion and fear

He described his experience as one of absolute exhaustion and fear.  “(It’s) a cloud hanging over you. If you have a good experience, it still creeps in that this is hanging over your head and it kind of sours everything. And that’s kind of how a lot of us live. And I’m experiencing it and it is horrible,” he said.

Statutory protections are ignored 

Not only is the impact of the policy hard to imagine, many aspects are simply wrong on so many levels.  The policy blocks individuals’ rights to fight their care in court.  It overrides statutory protections that other taxpayers benefit from by dismissing time limits on investigating tax affairs.  Furthermore, it is retrospective which goes against generally accepted tax principles.

Is anyone listening?

An increasing number of influential MPs are campaigning for the policy to be scrapped, and they are starting to gather momentum.  Surely it’s time for common sense to replace the senseless hounding of innocent people for money that they simply don’t have.

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