HC Deb 18 April 1907 vol 172 cc1182-3

The estimates of Customs and Excise have been framed after making what seems a safe allowance for the increased spending power of the consuming classes. There is an exceptionally large increase in the income-tax, no less than £900,000, partly due to the early date of Easter having delayed the collection this year and thrown an unusual proportion of the receipts for 1906–7 into 1907–8, and it is partly due to the fact that two good years now come into the three years' average on which the income-tax returns are made up. The other items call for little remark except the item "Miscellaneous," which I have already explained, and the estate duties, a most uncertain, element, which we have put at £13,600,000, £400,000 in excess of the last Budget Estimate and £800,000 behind the actual receipts. This brings out a total estimated Exchequer revenue for the year of, as I have said, £144,190,000; and if you set that against the estimated expenditure of £140,757,000, it shows an estimated surplus for the year of £3,433,000. To save further reference to the matter, I must deduct from that a sum of £200,000 which has not appeared on the Estimates, and represents a temporary continuance for another year of the grant in aid made last year to necessitous school areas, which, in consequence of the failure of the Education Bill to pass into law, it is necessary to renew. The available surplus is thus reduced to £3,233,000.