Treasury committee chairman condemns eurozone Cyprus plan

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EU policy on Cyprus' financial crisis has made a wider run on the banks more likely, Conservative MP and Treasury committee chairman Andrew Tyrie has said.

Opening debate on the Budget on 20 March 2013, Mr Tyrie described the eurozone as the "biggest single blight" on the prospects for the UK economy.

"Eurozone demand has remained very weak as the chancellor has pointed out, but there couldn't be a more vivid illustration of the eurozone's capacity for self-harm than its chronic mishandling of the Cypriot financial crisis over the last few days.

"What on earth possessed policy-makers to play with fire by doing the very things likely to trigger a run on the banks I just don't know, but it beggars belief."

The MP for Chichester praised Chancellor George Osborne for managing a "substantial cut in corporation tax and the simplification of corporation tax in one go".

But former Labour cabinet minister John Denham said the government's economic policies were divisive at a time when a shared "patriotic commitment" to rebuilding the economy was needed.

He said that cutting the top rate of income tax while simultaneously cutting benefits was "socially unfair and morally reprehensible".

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