This week I called on the Chancellor of the Exchequer to ensure that members of the Roadchef Employees Benefit Trust, including current and former employees at the Roadchef outlet in Magor, are reimbursed money they are owed by HMRC.
During Treasury Questions I said “The Treasury is holding on to £10 million from the Roadchef employees benefit trust following a High Court dispute. Can Ministers ensure that HMRC returns the money to the trust with interest so that the 4,000 workers and former staff, including a number of my constituents, can finally receive what is owed to them?”
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond MP, responded by saying that he felt it was important that HMRC dealt with matters separately to Government ministers, but that he was aware that HMRC were in discussions with the Roadchef trustees and ‘hoped to reach a resolution soon’.
The Roadchef Employees Benefit Trust (REBTL) operated a profit sharing scheme approved by HMRC for the benefit of Roadchef employees. Most of the beneficiaries earn a modest income or have now retired, while others have passed away.
In January 2000, the former Chief Executive of Roadchef, and former director of REBTL, paid over £10.6m to HMRC as part of the proceeds of shares from the Trust. In 2014, the High Court ruled that the whole transaction was void -; and, crucially, that the share proceeds belonged to the Trust. The Trust has recovered what it could, but HMRC still refuses to return the money that belongs to members of the Trust; including a number of Gwent-based Roadchef employees at Magor Services.