§ Sir Francis Burdett
presented a Petition from St. Anne, Westminster, for the repeal of the House and Window Tax.
§ Sir John Hobhouse
supported the prayer of the Petition, and hoped his Majesty's Ministers, if consistent with their duty, would attend to this Petition, and all others of the same kind.
Sir Matthew White Ridley
said, the feeling in favour of the repeal of these taxes was as prevalent throughout the country as in London.
§ Mr. Cobbett
said, that, in his opinion, these taxes did not press so heavily as some others; they were, however, most odious taxes, on account of the inequality with which they were levied, and the partiality of their operation. The great complaint of the people of England was, that the taxes were paid by the industrious part of the population, and received by those who did not work.
An Hon. Member
hoped, that the Ministers would not merely repeal the House and Window-taxes, but the whole of the Assessed-taxes; the other taxes would be very small, and the levying them 617 would be most annoying. These taxes were evaded by the wealthy, and the great burthen thrown on the poor.
presented a Petition from the parishes of St. Peter and St. Paul, in the city of Bath, for the Repeal of the House and Window Taxes. The hon. Member also presented another Petition to the same effect from Walcot, in the county of Somerset.
§ Mr. Gore Langton
hoped that his Majesty's Ministers would take the prayer of the petition into their consideration; and that they would also, with a view to some alteration in taxation, take generally into their consideration the distressed state of the country. The people were really, and not nominally, dying of starvation.
Mr. Kemyss Tynte
said, that as one of the Members of the western division of Somersetshire, he had been requested to support this petition. He knew that in no city in the kingdom were those taxes more oppressive than in Bath.
§ Mr. Roebuck
supported the prayer of this petition; for it must be apparent to those who gave the subject proper consideration, that the Assessed-taxes pressed heavily on those who were least able to bear the burthen. The rent of the poor man bore a much greater proportion to his expenses, than the rent of the rich man did to his; therefore to assess the poor man, with reference to his rent, was most unjust and unfair—more particularly as such a system must be oppressive, in the extreme, to a large body of the people. He would respectfully beg every hon. Gentleman to look to this question, and to give the subject his best consideration. The Assessed-taxes were prejudicial in many ways; the Window-tax was particularly so to the health of the poorer classes; for they were compelled, in many instances, to shut out, not only the light of Heaven, but were also prevented from having a sufficient current of air, in times when fresh air was absolutely necessary to the preservation of health. Not only these, but other oppressive taxes ought to be done away with, when they were detrimental to the health of the people.