The Guardian from London, Greater London, England on April 30, 1909 · 9
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The Guardian from London, Greater London, England · 9

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Friday, April 30, 1909
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9
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THE BUDGET. NEW TAXES FOR SOCIAL PROGRESS. LANDOWNER'S " UNEARNED INCREMENT." HIGHER ESTATE DUTIES. SUPERTAX ON INCOMES OVER 5,000. ABATEMENT FOR CHILDREN. MOTOR LEVY FOR BETTER ROADS. TAPPING UNWORKBD MINERALS SYSTEM OF LICENCE DCT1ES. SPIRIT AND TOBACCO TAXES RAISED. 3,000,000 FROM THE SINKING FUND. . The Chancellor of the Exchequer, in introducing tin: iluclgcu in the House of Commons ;--s'uvday, described it as " a war Budget " a JJiicigot raising money to wage warfare against poverty and squalor. Mr. Lloyd-George's speech was much more than a review of the national finances in tlu jmst yi;;ir and an announcement of the financial proposals for the coming year. It indicated tne Government's plans of social rofnnu for which money will have to be fditiui in future years. With fresh liabilities impending for the navy and social reform, the Chancellor deemed it the bolder and bettor course to examine frankly the whole financial outlook and mako provision for future needs. In devising mr-ans to meet the heavy requirements of tbi' turrent year he sought new tuxes whoso yield should be of such an expansive char acter as to grow with the growing demands j of the social programme. All, he said, must i";ir their share. THE BUDGET IN BRIEF. In the Chancellor's memorandum published yesterday morning the revenue on the exist ing haia of taxation was estimated at L lH,:si ).(Kin, the expenditure (including the fircatev cust nf old-age pensions and tho niivy) ;it 1,152,000, leaving a deficit of lo,7G2.000. "Wwtorilay ihn Chancellor announced new expenditure amounting to 950,000, making tlie expenditure 165.102,000. Deficit, to l-o met, 16,712,000. Th.. Ciiawellnr takes 8,000,000 from the Sinking Imiik), reducing tho fixed debt charge irom i-MKXMMK) to 25,000,000. This brings down the expenditure to 162,102,003. New taxation is proposed estimated to yield this year 14,200.000. 1 he r.et result is the following final esti mate : KiHenue: n present basis New fixation .148,390,000 14,200,000 -162,590.000 i.xpriicatuTe . 162.102,000 Surplus -N i:W EXPENDITURE. 488,000 i he new expenditure announced yesterday ; lei lows : i'v:r -'xohanpes 'i":i.i! development grant ' i r.'ad authority ... mars :.,r new taxes", Sic. ...... 100,000 200.000 600,000 50,000 To f.Qsn.nnn funds for file new authority to im- . " i no roads are. provided by now taxes R.o',r-cars and petrol. taxation proposals: ',h" Wv "r altered taxes proposed fall '""',r t-'J" following heads, and with each is P'i the r;,.!d expected from the changes enrrent financial year: 1 JIT ifn run . i,vuu,uw IMa iv ,in W-"Hies . " uwMjns 500,000 - -.. 2.850,000 .. 2,600,000 .. - . 500.000 - ........ 260,000 - 340,000 L.v.ul -,-c :-re.!r --....'"" v .r!! 'iw:y ."' 'iiiip duties 1.600,000 - 1,900,000 650,000 L. 14.200,000 Ti J'lelJ under ,.ro r i i . ' ' " ,:ext. ysir and in future years to lor notably the death and 'y HTd siicx'ssion duties and tho new s "" 'and values. THE NEW TAXES, INCOME TAX. ineomes up to 2,000 a year will Earn i:o to ;w (id. in the pound and incomes between 2,000 and 3,000 M. up to 2,000 and Is. on th re- I ptiier incomes now liable to the shilling ar to My Is. 2d. in the pound-an in- ABATEMENT FOR CHILDREN. :n. oa5e of incomes under 500, in ad-1 lf. ;ii0 exjgjjjg abatement a special T-rTT'"" r 1 for eTerv ehM nnd the a? "! ll' -Voars ""riR to allowed in fixing the 'r-:nt on which tax is to be paid. l PERTAX ON LARGE INCOMES, tax of" -1" '-S oxoeedinS 5,000 a year a super-This"" Kcli 8nch incomes exceed 3,000. ,-,- is a graduated income tax. '-sample. in the case of an income of '"! -t addition is equivalent to an addi- --'t3- in the pound on the whole in-! come; 6,000, 3d.; 9,000, 4d. ; and 18,000, 5d. DEATH DUTIES. . For estates under 5,000 the duty will remain, at 1, 2, and 3 per cent. For estates over 5,000 the minimum and maximum are unchanged, but the steps are shortened and the graduation steepened by the following now scale : 5.000 to 10.000.. p.o. 4 5 6 7 8 150,000 to 200.000. 10 200,000 to 400,000. 11 400.000 to 600,000. 12 600,000 to SM,000. 13 800,000 tol,000,000 14 Above 1,000,000 15 10,000 to 20,000... 20,000 to 40,000... 40,000 to 70,000... 70,000 to 100,000.. 100,000 to 150,000 9 The duty in the case of settled estates will be raised from 1 per cent to 2 per cent. The period within which property alienated remains subject to death duties will be raised from one year to five years. LEGACY DUTY. In the legacy and succession duties further changes are proposed, among them the raising of tho rate from 3 to 5 per cent where the beneficiary is a brother or sister or near relative, and the varying of it from 5 to 10 per cent in the case of other relatives according to their degree of relationship. Where thero is no relationship the duty will be a uniform one of 10 per cent. THE LIQUOR TRADE. PUBLICANS' LICENCES. It is proposed to introduce a new system of valuation based upon the principle upon which publicans receive compensation for the extinction of licences. Meanwhile the duties will be levied upon tho basis of th existing valuations. A uniform charge of 50 per cent on annual value is to be levied, subject to a minimum. In rural districts and in urban areas having a population of less than 2,000 the minimum will bo 5. In other urban areas tho minimum will vary according to population on the following scalo:Over 2,000, 10; over 5,000, 1;; over 10,000, 20; over 50,000, 30; over 100,000, 35. Beerhouses will pay a duty of one-third of the annual value, subject to the minimum rate. HOTELS AND RESTAURANTS. With respect to hotels and restaurants, houses in which the receipts from tho sale of liquor are not more than one-fourth of tho total receipts will pay only half the licence duty, Houses whoso liquor receipts are not more than one-sixth of the total receipts will pay only one-third. In a tied business tho additional duty is not to fall upon the publican. ULUBS. Clubs are to pay 3d. in the pound on the amount received from the sale of liquor. MANUFACTURERS' LICENCES. For the present fixed duties for brewers and distillers is to be substituted tho following graduated scale: Brewers: 1 un to 100 harml 19a f- 1 succeeding 50 barrels. Distillers: 10 up to 50,000 proof gallons, 10 for every additional 25,000 gallonB. Licences for rectifiers of spirits will be increased from 10 guineas to 15 guineas, and those for makers of British-made wines from 1 to five guineas. I :" f,uiirau. .waiters 01 cior anu Tl (- Tl-r, ,11 i;t-rt.m; 1 1 r L j . uaxjnLsn; iy to pay nvo guineas except when they manufacture solely from fruit which they themselves produce. WHOLESALE DEALERS. Dealers' licences for beer will be raised from 3. 6s. Id. to 10 guineas and for spirits from 10 guineas to 15 guineas. A licence to tleal wholesale- in cider and perry will cost 5 guineas. Wholesale dealers wishing to retail will be required to take out ordinarv retailers' off-licences, subject to a reduction of 25 per cent. r RETAILERS A separato retailer's off-licence will be introduced in the case of spirits. Theatres will continue to pay tho same rates as pubhe-houses, with a maximum of wju msraaa ot iRJ. In tho. case of on-licences for wines, spirits, nnd cider there will be a scale according to the annual value in four sections. In regard to retailers' off-licences the same principle will be adopted. The distinction between England, Scotland, and Ireland in the matter of grocers' licences will be removed. To sell both beer and wiue two separate licences will have to bo taken out. For occasional licences tho charce will be raised from 2s. 6d. to 10s. a dav for a full heenco and Is. to 5s. a day for beer and wine only. temoorT CWno int f P" LAND. THE UNEARNED INCREMENT. Three new land taxes are proposed 1. A tax of one-fifth, or 20 per cent, upon tho increment of value accruing to land from the enterprise of the community or the landowners neighbours. This will not be retrospective Beginning with a valuation of land now, the duty will bo charged upon tho increased value when it is sold or passes upon death This duty, which is not expected to yield more than 50,000 in 1909-10 the Chancellor anticipates will in future years become a fruitful source- of revenue. MINERALS AND LAND UNDEVELOPED. 2. An annual duty of a halfpenny in the pound on tho capital value of undeveloped A tax of a .halfpenny in the pound on un-gotton minerals, calculated on the prico which mining rights might bo expected to realise if sold in the open market at the date of valuation. All land having a purely agricultural valuo and parks to which the public are allowed access will bo exempt. Estimated yield this year, 350.000. LEASE EXPIRATION. 3. A 10 per cent reversion duty on anv benefit accruing to a lessor on the termination of a lease. Estimated yield, 100,000. MOTOR-CARS. The new motor-car taxes aro to come into force next January throughout the United Kingdom, and aro to be based upon tho power of the cars on the following scalo: Under 64 h.p. 12 h.p. .. 16 h.p. .. 86 h.p. 2 3 ... 4 6 Under 33 h.p a 0 h.p 10 60 h.p 20 Over 60 h.p. ....... 40 Doctors' cars are to be charged one-half these rates. Motor cvcles are to pay a uniform rate ofl- The existing exemption of trade vehicles is to be continued. A duty of 3d. per gallon is to be levied on all petrol ir motor spirit used. A rebate will be allowed in the case of vehicles used for commercial purposes. SPIRITS. The present Customs and Excise duty on spirits is to be raised by 3s. 9d. per gallon. TOBACCO. TTduty on unmanufactured tobacco is to be increased by Sd. per lb., with equivalent THE MANCHESTER GUARDIAN; FRIDAY, additions to the rates for cigars, cigarettes, and manufactured tobacco. STAMPS. The chief changes proposed in the stamp duties are th following: The stamp duty on transfer or sale of property to be raised from 10s. to 20s. per cent. A like increase to be made in the case of voluntary disposition between living per-' sons which, said the Chancellor, is often used as a means of escaping the death duties. Some new or increased duties on transactions in stocks, shares, or bonds. THE SOCIAL PE0GEAMME AND THE NAVY. Before announcing the actual financial proposals of the Government, Mr. Uoyd-Georgo took a wide survey of the country's financial responsibilities. His statement threw light on the Government's- plans with regard to the navy and to social reform. DREADNOUGHTS. To risk our present immunity from in vasion would be an act not of Liberalism but of lunacy. But it would be criminal insanity to throw away eight millions of money before the need arose. As. however. it might be necessary to mako arrangements ior laying down the eight .Dreadnoughts by April, 1910, the financial proposals which he WOUld submit wmild ha nf Kilch a character that he could pay for those vessels without resorting to additional taxation or a loan. RATEPAYERS' RELIEF. The financial proposals would enable the Government to make good the promises given by successive Governments of relief to the local xatepayer. PENSIONS FOR AGED PAUPERS. As the result of negotiations proceeding with local authorities Mr. Lloyd-George was hopeful of being able, perhaps next year, to propose to extend the old-age pension of 5s. a week to the meritorious septuagenarian pauper. At present the cost to the local ratepayers of theso aged paupers was between one-and-a-half and two millions a year. If they would subscribe that amount the Imperial Exchequer might make up the difference. WORKMEN'S INSURANCE. The Government were giving careful consideration to the best methods of making provision for workmen's insurance. Any plan to be successful must include an element of compulsion, must require contributions from tho classes immediately concerned and a substantial State contribution, and must not do the least damage to th existing oeneht and provident societies, but rather encourage and if possible work through them. UNEMPLOYMENT. A SCHEME OF INSURANCE. A Board of Trade soheme for insurance against unemployment, which would bring in unskilled as well as other classes of labour, was far advanced, and the establishment of labour 'exchanges would provide th necessary mnchineiy. A " NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT" GRANT. It might be no portion of tho duty of a Government to create work, but it was essentially part of its function to see that its people wore equipped and permitted to mako the best of their own country. Neglected and forgotten areas needed to be resettled. Money vas spent in a sporadic kind of way upon work of national development, such asi light railways, harbours, Ac. The Govern-! mont proposed to gather all those grants together into one grant to be called the Development Grant, and this year he proposed to add a sum of 200,000. The grant would bo used for the promotion of schemes for the development of tho resources of the country, such as schools of forestry, preparation of land tor attoTestation, reseaiches in agricul tural science, improvement of jtock, promotion and oneouragemort 01 eo-opo ration, improve ment 01 rural transport, and the facilitation of all well-considered schemeti for attracting labour back to the land by small holdings or tho reclamation or wastes. All unexpected accretions of revenue and savings upon estimates which had hitherto gone automatically to the Sinking Fund it was proposed to apply to the new Development Fund. MOTORS AND ROADS. A central road authority would be set up which" would make grants to local authorities for the purpose of widening, straightening, and improving roads. To this central authority tho motor-car taxes would be handed over. PAELIAMENTAEY VIEWS- SURPRISE AT THE MAGNITUDE OF THE SCHEME. The Press Association 6ays that the first impression in the Lobby on the Budget was one of astonishment at its complexity and at the far-reaching character of many of its proposals. On neither side of the House had so many changes of vast importance in the fiscal arrangements of the country been expected. "Several Budgets in one" was a common remark in tho Lobby, and on all hands it was admitted that the discussion of its proposals wi th all their ramifications of detail might well occupy the House throughout the remainder of the session. Decided opinions on the Budget as a whole most members hesitated to express, and it is already evident that some of the Chancellor's proposals will receive close and critical examination even from his own side of the House. Business men naturally dislike the increased stamp dutiee, while the added tax on tobacco is hardly likely to be popular. The taxes on land are welcomed by the group favourable to the taxation of land values, though, of course, they do not go far towards the realisation of the cherished ideal, and members of the temperance eection strongly approve the new provisions as to licences. On the Unionist eide the Budg-et will bo most stoutly combated on every one of its ntsw features which were denounced as strikingly unjust to the various classes. Labour members generally reserve their opinions. They are holding a meeting this morning, at which they will discuss the whole bearing of Mr. Lloyd-George's proposals and decide on the course of action to be taken by the party. Mr. Toulmin. M.P., said: THfe sem,rin i, th State of a portion of the unearned incre ment in xne vaiue ot land should be approved in tho large towns, and the taxing of undeveloped land will be popular where- ereat lim. lords hold back a large amount of land, while the 10 per cent reversion dutv on the falling : in of leases of land on which buildings have Deen erect ei wui touch certain cases whTa great naraaup nas Deen caused, and where leases have only been renewed on payment nf ! heavy fines and an increased ground rent ceased ground rent I j 71 Iortore J-ears. leased ground rent T i am .delighted with the forms which are indicated Sir T. Roe, M.P., said: I think tho Bdt ie- one which , . 1 1 1 V ! country upon, t deiivered to the accompaniment of repeated 1 activity in every branch of productive enter-a challenge to the House of Lords. ' v:n, h "Win.oaT.Vf. j t' i i saeh a resnlt wrmld arain heli all th IC seems a challenge to the House of Lorrl ! and one on which I feel the country would sup-: port the party. I think it will meet with the I general approval of Liberals, though thero are some matters on which there may be differ-1 ences of opinion. ' SCENE IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS. (Fpom oua Parliamentary Correspondent.) WESTsirxsTEB, Thitbsdat Night. While the Budget was being unfolded tonight one could have imagined that the very elements were in sympathy with the changing and fluctuating moods of the Chancellor's hashed audience. Sunshine and shadow chased one another across tho windows, now illuminating the thronged benches with a swiftly passing radiance, now plunging the whole interior into sadden and ill-omened gloom. At one moment the blinds wore being drawn to shield the eyes of a dazzled Opposition from the slanting rays of the setting sun, while a few minutes later an angry swish of rain through the open casements served as a summons to quite a different sort of defensive action. It was a dramatic setting to a dramatic occasion, the effect of which, from the rather light-hearted point of view implied by those adjectives, was unexpectedly heightened by the unrehearsed incident which led to tho abrupt division of the piece into two parts. Perhaps it would have been" better if that break- had been prearranged. It came as a relief to everybody, certainly to the exhausted Minister, scarcely less to his anxious hearers, perhaps most of all to those of his own family who from a corner of tho Speaker's Gallery had come to witness and partake in th triumph 1 01 tneir nero in the proudest moment or his life. And despite the break only one break, after all, in five hours! it was an undoubted triumph a triumph of the spirit over body, of intellect, of eloquence, and of statesmanship . At the outset it was noted that Mr. Lloyd-George was setting out on his oratorical travels more completely equipped for the ordeal than is. his wont. For physical sustenance he depended on a glass of water, to which he still preferred to trust even after Ids temporary collapse had inspired a neighbour with the kindly thought of supplementing the refreshment with a glass of milk. On the other hand, his despatch-box was crammed to the lid with the material for the intellectual part of his Odyssey, and as the speech proceeded batch after batch of typo-written manuscript was drawn forth from the recesses of the box in apparently unending succession. At his left hand was Mr. Churchill, joining eagerly in every cheer and anticipating the orator's slightest want,and on his right sat Mr. Asquith, from whom towards the end of the third hour came the happy ! suggestion of a short adjournment, promptly supported, it should be said, by Mr. Balfour, and indeed by the whole House. In his opening sentences the Chancellor, who was looking exceptionally well, spoke in low tones as if with the intention of preserving his strength. His phrases were caretuuy. chosen, and were delivered with a poised and equable deliberation for which at a later stage he had to pay the penalty in a too hurried enuncia tion, but throughout his eloquence fulfilled the lacitean test -it brightened as it burned. Especially was this true of the remarkable if almost too highly wrought exordium, in which he took stock of the permanent and increasing liabilities of the future, particularly in respect of the navy. " Let us face the whole of our difficulties now," ho exclaimed in sentences which thrilled the whole House, and at the same time struck the Opposition with almost ludicrous amazement. " It is bolder, and it is better. Spending is noble, but paying is sordid, but whatever be the cost no great country can afford to risk the safety of its shores. To imperil even for one . hour that precious; national . possession would be a stupendous act. of folly. It would be not Liberalism but lunacy." Still even to this picture thero was another side thera was also the criminal insanity of waste of expenditure merely to face mythical armadas. " For, rich nation as we are, we cannot afford to build navies against nightmares." Next to the demands of naval defence, problematical as well as certain, came those of social reform, and on this theme the Chancellor of tho Exchequer foreshadowed and even expounded a programme of legislation, touching not only on the expansion of the old-age pension scheme, but on measures for dealing with unemployment, for insuring workmen against various risks, for the reclamation of waste lands, and for afforestation, which, as Mr. ' Austen Chamberlain afterwards declared, really bore some resemblance to an electoral manifesto, and seemed to offer material not for the next session or two but for two or three moro Parliaments. That, however, was a view to which Mr. Lloyd-George gave no encouragement. True, in his search for fresh sources of revenue he admitted with regard to more than one tax that its fruition was not to be fully expected at once, but at the same time made it clear that he was budgeting for liabilities that would have to bo faced within the next two years. From one of his new imposts, the first to be revealed, he frankly showed that the Exchequer was not to be benefited at all, since practically the whole of the 600,000 to be derived from motorcars is to go to the upkeep and maintenance of roads. Again, there was general surprise at the restraint exercised by this Chancellor in difficulties in the moderation of his so- called raid on the Sinking Fund, the amount bv which he is reducing the fixed AeM. ehn-rtm I oroviiiE to be only 3.000.000. ' J. u - ' So far the Minister had been dealing with' legislative projects or with taxation bearing on only a limited class of the population. Now came the income tax, and at the sound of the phrase the attention of the House visiblv quickened. " I am going in for no speculative or fancy taxes," Mr. Lloyd-George premised, and a cheer of relief, broke from the Opposition. A little later some of them may have felt that the cheer was premature, but if so the disappointment provoked no demonstration. Generally, indeed, the feeling seemed to be one of satisfaction that incomes under 500 were to remain subject to tho same taxation as at present-were, in fact, to bo relieved by a special additional exemption in favour of "the parents of young families, a concession, it must be owned, greeted with a good deal of genial hilarity. Even more satisfactory to Liberal and Labour sentiment was the concession of the long-sought supertax on incomes over 5,000, which,- together with the readjustment of the Death Duties so as to shorten the steps and steepen the slope of the graduated scale, caused, on the other hand, no littl agitation among the Midases of Parliament. Presently, as tho Chancellor was sketching his ingeniously framed proposals for a system of higher licence duties jubilant cries were raised by the Opposition of " What about clubs?" and "What about grocers P" To the manifest chagrin of those impatient spirits Mr. Lloyd-George promptly resnonrinil to tho challenge by showing that neither clubs nor grocers were to go soot-free, though, to j be sure, their lot, like that of restaurants and I bona-fide hotels as distinguished from drink-! ing-shpps, is to be comparatively privileged, j As to the land the great thing secured in , Vt T' j t V "se-rourcns i of the House was the dehnito recognition of " V .??aon .of te values lJ bnildinS TandotTer 4 "f6 mT.a frnm this and similar nrJ,v fv? 1 it:- m r . -" '! !Tenue ?"rr nroes tttnre. AU was pari, 01 we StatirioTi. vo 7i ' -u.v.-.t. , V , members Ffnallv came the turn f ir,,?;,. i tion not of the necessaries of life, " which we must avoid," declared Mr. Lloyd-George amid emphatic cries of approval, but of APRIL ? 30, 1909. luxuries, in particular tho luxuries of the working-classes. "Luxuries?" echoed a Labour member incredulously. ' "Spirits and tobacco," was the Chancellor's effective response, and to the tune, as it turned out, of an increased tax on the- former of 3s. 9d. a gallop and on tho latter -of 8d. a pound, bringing in together an addition to the revenue of nearly 3,600,000. And how the great constructive work was complete and placed before the ' eyes of the world, which, possibly to its surprise as represented here, found itself almost in a mood of self-congratulation -on its ability to yield so much with so little suffering. The Chancellor had been told before he rose, and was again reminded after he had finished that none of his predecessors had ever had to impose so much taxation in time of peace. "But this," as he declared in a ringing and courageous peroration, " is a war Budget. Its purpose is to raise money for the waging of van implacable warfare against poverty and squalor." In the spirit of those brave worcb its friends bade it an enthusiastic God-speed. ' PRESS COMMENTS. POINTS FROM THIS MORNING'S LEADERS. We have been favoured with tho following extracts from leading articles on the Budget in to-day's morning papers: LIBERAL, DAILY NEWS. Examine any one of his proposals, and It is seen to be moderation itself. Take them as a whole, not merely for what they will yield this year, but for what they promise in the future, and they make an enormous contribution to the. problem of a juster division of wealth. There is not an item in the whole long list which hampers trade or discourages enterprise. The burdens fall with an accurate and nicely calculated incidence only on the idle wealth which grows without effort, and levies its tribute on the energies and sacrifices of others. Better still, there is not an item in them which puts a new load on the shoulders of the struggling and the poor. Tho new taxes fall wholly on. luxuries, or on such inordinate wealth as is itself nothing but a gigantic luxury. Nor can we refrain from paying to the ingenuity which has presided over the whole operation an enthusiastic tribute. All of these new taxes have been so devised that their yield will be enormously increased next year when the full cost of the Liberal social programme must be faced. DAILY CHRONICLE. So far from "the resources of Free Trade being "drained to .the dregs," as' the "Times sneered yesterday, the greatest of the resources of Free Trade is now tapped for the first time. There can be no true freedom of trade or freedom of industry while land can be withheld from its best use or any use at the whim of its owneT. In tho taxation of land values, therefore, Free Trade will achieve a wider scope than before. No longer will its principle be limited to freedom in the exchange of com modities with other nations. Its application to the production of wealth will bring about aa advance in national prosperity only comparable to that which followed the reforms of Peel and Cobden. MORNING LEADER. What the Government had to decide in this Budget was whether the revenue to meet it should be found out of the resources of superfluity, luxury, and plenty in due proportion. which they have never hitherto done, with the lass obvious but more onerous contributions of the poor, or that the disparity should be increased beyond bearing by placing the burden on the food of the people. They have decided without ambiguity. Between tho charwoman of St. Giles and the great ground landlords of tho cities they have made their choice. It ia one that does not need to bo defended, but only to be understood. When Mt. Lloyd-George, Mr. Asquith, Mr. Churchill, and the Test of the Ministry have brought home to the country what the moaning of that choice- is, no one need envy the Opposition If they undertake the sorry task of trying to upse's it. LIVERPOOL POST. Mr. Lloyd-Gee-Tge is a man of courage. With a deficit of 15,762,000 to cover, he takes on new responsibilities that are expected to cost this year 350,000 and much more next year, knowing all the time that the cost of the navy next year will be millions more than in the 'current year. Having raised his deficit to 16,112,000, he is not content to propose taxes that will cover this huge amount, but provides for tho inevitable increase in expenditure next year. This is bold finance indeed. This is the distinguishing feature of his Budget. He can scarcely be accused of missing any class, but he is very merciful towards the poor, and in this connection the poor includes people with incomes running up to 2,000 a year. SOUTH WALES DAILY NEWS (CARDIFF). The Chancellor of tho Exchequer has solved his problem without infringing on his principles. He has broadened the basis of the taxation without any injustice in incidence. Ho has let alone the necessaries of life and tapped the luxuries. It is such a Free Trade Budget as to give a crushing blow to the tariff campaign. BRISTOL MERCURY. The most significant details of the Budget are those which refer to the land. The half- nny ta on Prochrtiv land looks to be a little thing, but it ia big with possibilities. It means valuation, and on this account chiefly it will be hotly contested in the House of Lords. SHEFFIELD INDEPENDENT. Mr. Lloyd-George unfolded a Budget singularly complex in character and making several important new democratic departures, aliko in methods of taxation and in the area from which the national revenue is drawn. It may be said at once that it is not the sensational Budget expected in some quarters. To describe any of the proposals as th raiding of interests is false. Mr. Lloyd-George has met an exceptional financial situation by so distributing his demand as to make the additional burden fall as lightly as possible on those by whom it will be borne, these being, as we anticipated, not this or that class, but the whole community in due and fair proportion. " Even the liquor interest will discover that the wrath which it has nursed up against the Chancellor of the Exchequer is bomewhat in excess of the occasion. UNIONIST. MORNING POST. Is it eerionsly suggested that theso huge additions to income tax, estate duty, stamp duties, and the like are not calculated to restrict the expansion of industry and conuneTceT Is the taxation of those who consume liquor and tobacco a more eSective or fairer method of bringing " all classes " under contribution than th readjustment of food duties proposed by Tariff " Reformers "f If proposals like those 0f Mr. Lloyd-George can take, effect in a time of trade depression without aggravating its , referdinir a rv.verv it will Tw, h flrat Hm1 on r6COTd th,t A . ,h; first time on record that such a form" were now to be accomplish a thing has Tariff "Ee- frvrm were now to be aceomnlished withnrrt kIV", -n. iw w , 'v "J prise, such a result would again belie all the previous experience of the civilised world. DAILY TELEGRAPH. If a vast scheme full of bewitching contradictions and complexities can be labelled in a phrase there ia only one description to apply to it; The Budget. h,.t aboyb ah,, form of " gambling in futures." ,' In its character aa a measure framed .with Tegard, not to pzesoat public necessities,- but to the later political interests of a party which holds office, and intends making a desperate effort to keep power at any price, the. scheme is hugex and mora perilous' than anything whwh has evar been proposed by a statesman, responsible fox the national finance. Beyond the present towering nuaget 100ms tne still mora gigantic shadow of electioneering Budgets to .come, and already. in part, provided for by Mr. Lloyd-George's arrangements. . . . He reasons and initiate as though the. piping times of peace could never end. There was not one sentence warning the. nation vHh sufficient seriousness and decision of the immense burdens which the requirements of national defence wilP-inevi- tably lay upon us in the future. STANDARD. If the Budget introduced yesterday in the House of Commons has any merit it is that the Chancellor of the Exchequer makes no pretence of fair dealing. His purpose is to bleed the upper and middle classes in order to provide largesse for the proletariat. He talked at large about the virtues and possibilities of contributory insurance against old age, invalidity, and unemployment, but the application of that moral is reserved for another year. This year the whole burden is to be supported by per sons who derive no benefit from the Act We may point out that thia is a direct violation of pledges given by the Prime Minister. YORKSHIRE POST. The Budget undoubtedly raises the question of whether the Lords, can properly intervene in the matter of national finance. Mr. Lloyd- George's proposals are many, but converge to one or two points. It is said that all roads lead to Rome. All Mr. Lloyd-George's tax-roads lead to one class. He is endeavouring to pile upon the wealthier members of the community so much taxation as to break their backs. The income tax, the death duties, the motor tax, the land tax, with its basis of capital value, even the new licensing taxation, so far as this has revenue for its object, all are intended to oppress a comparatively small class of persons. There is, of course, a difference between intention and effect, and probably the Government have not remembered that the burdening of one class which spends largely, and which also invests largely in new industries, must have an evil effect upon masses of persons depending on their spending or on the industries they finance. Mr. Lloyd-George, perhaps, has hoped by heaping up the expenditure and pushing on taxation whose effects will be fully realised only some years hence to forestall and prevent any revision of our fiscal system. If so ho will certainly fail in his purpose, and in failing he may possibly bring about that general election which he and his friends are now so anxiouB to avoid. SCOTSMAN. Radical finance has broken down. Mr. Lloyd-George has failed to fulfil the prediction of his predecessor last year. He has exhausted his financial ingenuity. He has done his best to respond to the eager appeals of his political friends to show that democratic finance is not restricted to narrow lines. The Budget is highly vulnerable. It will be attacked at many points, but especially is it obnoxious to Scotsmen. Irish members on both sides will no doubt oppose the increase in the spirit duty on the ground that it will perpetrate another injustice to their country. It will be a severe test of the habitual docility of the Scottish Radical when this question is raised. Scotland, by reason of its prefer- once for whisky as a beverage, must be seriously prejudiced by tho favour now shown to the English beer-drinker. It would seem as if the Government were making the Scottish working-man pay for his rreater loyalty to Radicalism. BRISTOL TIMES AND MIRROR. A Budget of skilful patchwork which, by making levies on many interests, reduces the chances of concentrated opposition from any one. The extra halfpenny on the working man's ounce of tobacco will rudely test the Government's popularity, and, we believe, i will finally shatter it , GLASGOW HERALD. Mr. Lloyd-George's Budget is of an encyclo-paidio character. He has thrown the Glsd-stonian tradition of simplicity to the winds and produced yesterday the most complex Budget that has been seen for half a oentury. His proposals are so numerous, so varied, and so highly controversial that the whole session, or all that is left of it, will clearly be none too long for the proper discussion of them. Their very complexity is an unwelcome feature, especially, we should imagine, from the Liberal standpoint. Liberal finance, we have been told repeatedly, is a perJectly plain and straightforward business, with none of the complications of foreign Protectionist flnanoe. That boast we fear cannot be made any longer. Ms. Lloyd-George, with his desire to create a sensation, lias made a Budget that would alarm eves a German Finance Minister. It Is a bad way of demonstrating the posflibilities of the pro. sent system. LIVERPOOL COURIER. Tho anticipation that Mr. Lloyd-George's Budget would be a sensational affair has been amply fulfilled. The Chancellor of tho Exchequer has given us democratic flnanoe with a vengeance. Indeed, it would be hardly putting the-case too high to call this demagogic finance. for the proposals that were nnfolded yesterday in a speech, of nearly five hours' duration re presented not so much a Budget scheme as a i pariy prospectus ot the most .flamboyant type. j-w n jimuue it uugni. xo oe set out in big, bold type, with staripg headlines, so that it nugnc re placarded effectively on every hoard mg. "We want your votes" is the key by which the whole utterance may bo interpreted. SHEFFIELD TELEGRAPH. This journal congratulates the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the astuteness with which the Budget has been framed. With the skill o; a born electioneer, it says, he has devised his new taxation so as to hit the mass of the people as little as possible. He has tried to get a maxi mum of money with a minimum of squealing. Whether the principle of making rich men pay through the nose for the upkeep of the country is a fair one, and whether even if fair it is wise, is quite another matter. None of these considera tions relieves the-Budget from the charge of financial unsoundness. In squeezing the income-tax payer almost to the laBt gasp, and at the same time raiding- the Sinking Fund, the Chancellor of the Exchequer has made a breach in the defensive power of the country even more serious than that which the Government's niggardly shipbuilding has created, for it is upon the Sinking JFund and the Income tax that the country is to relv in the main whn war breaks out, and when the Government raids the national war-chest in a time of profound peace there is no reserve ofpsyiag power left to iaii oacx upon, in piain isngiisn, we are face to face with the bankruptcy of Free Trade finance. WESTERN MAIL CARDIFF). While condemning the higher duty on licences and demurring to the casting of so much of the burden on a few interests already highly taxed, this paper says; The promised establishment of compulsory insurance against unemployment and old age, the abatement on tho income tax in repect of children, and the establishment of a National Development Grant are for this country novelties in social reform which will meet with cordial approval. Our only doubt is as to the wisdom of annronriatine to the Development Fund balances which have: hitherto gone to the reduction of the National j JJeot. lhe purpose would have been better' served nsd the Chancellor had the oourage to 1 . -Uf I , -T-l 1 . TT J m - levy his National Development Fund on foreign heavy deficit. Were I dealing with a shortage manufactured goods. The Budget is marked j due only to a temporary cause like forestall-by originality and ingenuity. It Ja business- ment z might easily by moans of some shift like m its survey of liabilities, immediate and .,'; . f ... . -. to come. It is intricate in technicalities and OT other have srt er tha yer without in- rich in the promise of social reform. Manchester interviews on the Budget p&- posals appear on page 12. : THEE : took ' tfcn rftiLii- f ti ' 4ft& -Tr - , " tvuun V Hill iJbM lTHUILI Tlma .j- T" " many members occupied -Mate m the side galleries. The Distin-gttub Strangers' and the Peers' Galleries' were roll, and tho front row of tho general pabho gaUer was occupied by " gentlemen i of the press." Most of the usual occupants i of tho Treasury and front Opposition benches ) were m their places when, shortly after three'; o clock, Mr. Lloyd-George rose to present his first financial statement. ..: (FROM OUR OWN REPORTERS.) Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE, who was received witar loud cheers, said: At the close of my right-hon-i in end s last Budeet snnAnVi -.-vi . T.rta ii4-v. L . " ' "gut aon. gentleman tho member for East Worcestershire": war. a. wiamberlain) condoled with me on having to follow such a master of lucid exposition. I confess that' even if my task had been3 a comparatively easy one I should have falSf quite sorry for myself in having to follow suob a predecessor as my right hon. friend. Bat,! seeing that my difficulties are abnormally great, and the burden I have to carry is j very heavy one, I can only throw myealf ov the kind sympathy and Indulgence f thej House. (Cheers.) I have departed from pr&i; oedent in one respect, whioh I hope will command tho general assent of- the House. L-caused to be circulated with the votes this morning a full statement showing the position-last year, and what the position would be assuming that taxation remained at its present form. I have no doubt that hon. members were slightly disappointed with the figure of. the anticipated deficit, but, on the whole, I am sure there is a great sense of relief at the; figure of the realised deficit. It will be seen from that statement that the expenditure for the financial year just closed exceeded the revenue by 714,000, and the Exchequei balanee, which stood on the 31st March, 190S; at 8,919,000 an exceptionally large amount; arising by reason of tho very considerable Old Sinking Fund of 1907-8, is accordingly deputed by the amount of this defloit. Thero have also during the year been drafts from that balance in respect of issues on account of the Old Sinking Fund to which I have referred, of 4,127,000, and advanoes in exoesa of repayments within tho year to the extant of 228,000, while, on tho other hand, it ws's strengthened last summer by the reissuS of Treasury bills (to tho amount of 2,600,000) temporarily paid off in 1907-8. The net result of these transactions is that the Exchequer balance stood on tho 31st March last at 8,350,000, a net decrease as compared with the same date in the preceding year of 2,669,000. If as a result of the depletion of tho balauoe ' """w" mm y vat iu ueuuiues necessary to borrow upon deficiency to meet the charge upon the Consolidated Fund for next quarter, I shall ba in a position to make good the overdraft out of a part of the Old Sinking Fund of 1307-8, which is still available. ant trtflv nnav .m-:.!. ' 2 .t. ' , . ..j yiwvioiuiift Ul tlUS National Debt Act, 1875, be applied to tho repayment of deficiency advances. In' theie ciroumstances, it is not necessary to mako any specifio provision with regard to tho realised defloit in oonnection with the financial arrangements of the current year. GREATER SOBRIETY OF . THE PEOPLE. I now-turn to a brief consideration.', of ,tho revenue and expenditure of 1909-10. It will ba seen that on the basis of existing taxation and of the estimates of expenditure already -presented to Parliament there is un anticipated deficit of 15,762,000. Tide amount is perhaps even larger than some members may have anticipated, but this is attributable, in part at any rate, to the fact that the true revenue of this year from Customs and Excise has been largely anticipated. Towards the end of last year thero were unusually heavy withdrawals of all dutiable commodities, particularly of spirits, owing to a not unnatural apprehension of increased taxes. The sum which was thus added to tho revenue of last year must be taken away from the revenue for the present year, and therefore has to bo counted twice in the comparison. This to a great extent accounts for the very large and otherwise Inexplicable drop in our estimate of the Excise for the year. When we come to OuBtoms tho apparent decline of 1,000,000 is due entirely to tho same cause the transference of 660,000 which properly belongs to tho present year to tho receipts of 1808-9, since the normal increase in the con sumption of sugar, tea, and tobacco will, in tho opinion of my advisers, more than make up for a probable dcoline in the consumption of foreign liquor. I ought to observe lhat apart altogether from forestallments there was, I will not say an alarming, . but an encouraging diminution in the consumption of alcoholic liquors observable during last year. This was partly due to the very bad trade from which we suffered. But the figures of the last few years justify mo in assuming that it was also attributable to the steady growth in tho habits of sobriety among the masses of the people. (Cheers.) Although there ia every prospect that before tho end of this financial year there will be considerable improvement in the trade ot tjhe country, the symptoms aro all favourable, still I shall have to reckon upon a continuation of that steady growth lii the habits of elf-restraint amongst the people in the matter of alcoholic liquors which has been such a very marked feature of the national liquor bill during the past few years. And the Committee will bear in mind that a comparatively small decrease in the consumption of a certain class of alcoholised liquor would account for a considerable drop in the revenue. These elenienta taken altogether forestallments and increased temperance account for .he considerabla diminution which I anticipate in this branch, of the revenue for the coming year, and which adds greatly to my difficulties. THE STEADINESS OF THE INCOME TAX. Before I Leave this brief examination of the revenue eido of my balance-sheet I should like specially to call the attention of the Commit-' tee to the wonderful steadiness in tho yield of tho income tax. In spite of one of the worst years of bad trade which this country has seen for many a year the income tax has surpassed every prediction, and realised nearly one million pounde in excess of ths Budget estimate. No tax could possibly be put to a severer test, and no tax could possibly rise from it more triumphantly than the income tax has daring the past year. Whatever else our fiscal system may be, there is this to be said for it at any rate, that it stands the ettiin much better than any other system in times of trade depression as far as producing revenue is concerned. THE HEAVY DEFICIT. INCREASES ALMOST UNANIMOUSLY AGREED TO. Vow I come to the expenditure side of mr balance-sheet, and it is to this, after all, th. must mainly be ascribed the. exceptionally j creasing the- taxation of the country. But Unfortunately I have to reckon not me-elj with an enormous increase-of expenditure thi3

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