The artistic director of the National Theatre has called for a u-turn on Treasury plans to limit tax relief for philanthropists which, he said "came completely out of the blue".
Sir Nicholas Hytner told the Today programme's Sarah Montague that he believes that the Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt had the carpet pulled from under him by the Treasury as he had always been an "eloquent" voice on philanthropy in the arts.
"He has been silent since the Budget," Sir Nicholas said, adding that he hoped those in the government "who were blindsided" can persuade the Treasury to do a u-turn.
He said that he did not think people gave money to charity as a way of avoiding to pay tax and that ironically "it is easier to raise $8m from Americans" than it is from the UK, for funds to finance the development of the National Theatre.
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