Breaking News
0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your Investing.com experience. Save up to 40% More details

Sunak reprimanded by parliament's speaker over budget leaks

EconomyMar 03, 2021 18:45
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
2/2 © Reuters. Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Sunak presents the budget box in London 2/2

By William James

LONDON (Reuters) - British finance minister Rishi Sunak was reprimanded by Parliament Speaker Lindsay Hoyle for the leaking of significant announcements worth more than 100 billion pounds ($140 billion) ahead of Wednesday's budget.

Decisions covering more than that amount in Britain's public finances over the next five years were reported anonymously in newspapers or officially announced before Sunak delivered his budget, Reuters analysis showed.

"It is very disappointing that one of the biggest moments in the parliamentary calendar has been undermined by the continuous leaking of significant announcements to the media over several days," Speaker Lindsay Hoyle and his deputy, Eleanor Laing, told Reuters in a joint statement.

"It takes away from the importance of the occasion, which is for everyone to find out the contents of the Budget at the same time - and the principle of announcements of new policy being made to the House first."

Sunak, widely seen as a contender for prime minister in the future, has used the budget to raise his personal profile including the unusual step of publishing his own slick promotional video.

Britain's ministerial code, the government rulebook on conduct and transparency, says that the most important announcements of policy should be made in parliament first.

The government usually makes some spending announcements before budget day but declines to comment or speculate on tax measures in the weeks running up to the statement during a period of self-imposed 'purdah'.

A Treasury official said: "It is usual practice for non-market sensitive policies to be trailed ahead of the budget. A multitude of tax policies are speculated and reported on ahead of budgets. This time has been no different."

BUDGET LEAKS

Ten out of 13 budget measures with a large fiscal impact were reported in advance, according to a Reuters analysis.

Major policies such as the 7 billion pound ($9.8 billion)extension to the government's furlough scheme and a 5 billion pound business grant scheme were announced by the finance ministry before Sunak's speech.

A mortgage guarantee scheme announced on Friday night moved homebuilders' share prices on Monday morning.

Other headline policies such as corporation tax rises and the extension of a tax break on property sales were reported fully or in large part by newspapers using unnamed sources in the run up to their official announcement.

A 'super deduction' tax relief on business investment, support for loss-making businesses, and an extension of support for the hospitality sector had not been reported in advance.

Budget leaks have been treated more seriously in the past.

Back in 1947, then-finance minister Hugh Dalton resigned after revealing some details of his budget announcement to a journalist. In 2013, the Evening Standard newspaper apologised after releasing a front page containing details of the budget before the finance minister had announced them.

Hoyle said that the days of ministers resigning over budget leaks were long gone but that he hoped things would be done better in the future.

Labour lawmaker Chris Bryant told Reuters Sunak had shown "complete contempt" for parliament.

"Privileged access to information about a budget has a value, a currency especially in the markets," he said. "Purdah kept chancellors honest. This opens the door to patronage and insider dealing."

($1 = 0.7166 pounds)

Sunak reprimanded by parliament's speaker over budget leaks
 

Related Articles

Dollar inches lower as Treasury yields hold firm
Dollar inches lower as Treasury yields hold firm By Reuters - May 17, 2021

By Stephen Culp NEW YORK (Reuters) - The dollar edged lower on Monday as inflation jitters, exacerbated by record high prices paid in a regional U.S. manufacturing survey,...

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind: 

  • Enrich the conversation
  • Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed.
  • Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically.
  •  Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and links within a comment will be removed
  • Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user.
  • Don’t Monopolize the Conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also believe strongly in giving everyone a chance to air their thoughts. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email