Budget Leaks Forced Successive U-Turns, Says Treasury Committee Chair Andrew Tyrie

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It's raining U-turns | PA

A series of government U-turns on proposals set out in this year's Budget has made it harder for future chancellors to stick to their plans, the chair of the Commons Treasury committee has said.

On Thursday the Treasury announced it would abandon plans for the so-called "Charity Tax" - a cap on tax-relief for philanthropic donations which was due to be set at £50,000.

Andrew Tyrie, the Conservative chairman of the Treasury committee said: "with so much pre-briefing and leaking of the major measures in the Budget, the Government lost the opportunity to explain a coherent package of tax reforms."

In advance of the March Budget several details of George Osborne's statement were leaked to the press, meaning that the few items left that were not already known gained extra attention.

"The few measures not leaked attracted disproportionate attention, forcing one concession after another," Tyrie said.

"Better to explain the Budget as a package rather than leak and pre-brief. This is a tough economic climate for Budget-making.

“Whatever the measures, it will be more difficult next year, with vested interest groups now encouraged to press for concessions.

Tyrie added: "The chancellor will need to set out the principles underpinning his budget and make clear he will stick to them."

On Wednesday the co-secretary of the backbench 1922 committee told The Huffington Post that continued incoherence from the government risked damaging its credibility.

However despite Nick de Bois' warning, most Tories privately will be happy to see the back of the Charity Tax, which was widely seen as a pointless and damaging policy.