Taxes

Rishi Sunak Must Stop the Taxman Closing Viable Businesses Struggling Due to Government Pandemic Policy

There follows a guest post by an author, who wishes to remain anonymous, who is an experienced independent restructuring and turnaround professional with successful HMRC dealings going back over 20 years.

It was always the case that the Government’s rush to help businesses at the beginning of lockdowns would inevitably lead to some issues further down the line. In this article I argue that there is a disconnect between the broad policy agendas of the Treasury and HMRC. In particular, HMRC should not try to close businesses that have been adversely affected by COVID-19, provided the businesses can make a good case that they can recover over a reasonable time period. HMRC should not unilaterally apply a timescale for debt repayment that is unrealistic for a business.

The Treasury has always appreciated that COVID-19 affected businesses might not recover for several years. The introduction of the Business Recovery Loan Scheme, and its recent extension until June 2022, is evidence of this. The Business Recovery Loans are repayable over periods up to six years and are underwritten by Government guarantees of 70-80%.

There can be no doubt that the overall policy of the Treasury is to support COVID-19 affected businesses as long as reasonably necessary.

However, HMRC does not appear to have got the memo and is largely adopting the same approach to collecting overdue debt from businesses that it used pre-pandemic.

Families Could Pay an Extra £400 a Year to Meet Net-Zero Target

Britain’s families face paying hundreds of pounds more a year on food, flying and shipping costs to meet the net-zero emissions target by 2050, according to a new report. MailOnline has more.

The poorest tenth of households will pay an extra £80 each year by 2050 while the richest tenth will face a £400 annual bill to help sectors that currently have a low chance of hitting the Net Zero emissions target by this date.

The National Infrastructure Commission said the UK needs an industry to store the gases to help meet its pledge on carbon emissions – and taxpayers will have to spend up to £400million in the next decade to fund this.

However the executive agency added that the biggest polluting industries such as agriculture, shipping and aviation should make a £2billion-a-year contribution from 2030 – even if these costs are passed onto households.

The suggestion issued in a report provoked fury among consumer groups amid mounting concerns over how much Boris Johnson’s Net Zero commitments will end up costing hard-working families in the long run.

Among the organisations concerned about the costs involved is the TaxPayers’ Alliance, whose chief executive John O’Connell told MailOnline today: “The net zero target must not see working taxpayers landed with the bill.

“With the highest tax levels in 70 years, family finances are already strained and they cannot be expected to pay more for food, goods and travel. Ministers must promise to protect Brits from any green cost hikes.”

Worth reading in full.