HC Deb 04 May 1914 vol 62 cc59-60

4.0 P.M.

When I come to the various items of revenue I shall summarise them, because I have so much ground to cover, unless the right hon. Gentleman opposite would like information upon any particular branch. In comparing the revenue of this year with the revenue of last year, I would ask the Committee to bear in mind that there are two factors which went to swell the revenue of last year quite apart from any trade expansion. Before the end of the financial year of 1912–13 there was an anticipation that there would be a reduction of the duties on certain commodities. That produced the usual results. There was a good deal of withholding of clearances from bond. Traders kept them back until they heard what the Budget proposals really were. The result was that £380,000, which ought to have been collected in 1912–13, found its way into the coffers of the Exchequer in the financial year 1913–14. That, of course, we cannot expect to have this year. On the other hand, when it was realised that there was a very considerable deficiency in the accounts this year, there were forestalments in commodities which, it was feared, at any rate, might be brought under contribution to make up the deficit. That accounts for something like £270,000. In order to compare the forecast for this year with the revenue of last year you must deduct these amounts, so as to arrive at the true revenue of the coming year. I put the true revenue of Customs and Excise last year at£74,464,000. I anticipate this year an increase on this of £536,000 under Customs and Excise. The Customs and Excise Estimate of 1914–15 is therefore £75,000,000. I have summarised it because I have so much ground to cover, but I can easily give particulars. Estate Duties, I anticipate, will be up by £641,000, and this year will be £28,000,000. Stamps are expected to realise £9,900,000. That is an estimate that the revenue will be down by £66,000. Land Taxes and House Duty are estimated at £2,700,000; Income Tax, £45,250,000, an increase of £1,321,000; Super-tax £3,300,000, a decrease of £20,000, because there were arrears last year, and there are some though fewer, this year. Land Value Duties are estimated at £725,000, an increase of £10,000. The total estimated inland revenue is thus. £89,875,000. This makes the total tax revenue £164,875,000. I now come to the Post Office. The estimated receipts are: Postal £21,750,000, an increase of £560,000; telegraphs £3,100,000, an increase of £20,000; and telephones £6,900,000, an increase of £370,000. The total estimate for the Post Office is thus £31,750,000, an increase of £950,000. The remaining items include Crown lands £530,000, and receipts from Suez Canal shares and other-items, £1,370,000. That is a decrease of £210,000, due to Nigerian transactions. The next item is miscellaneous, £2,130,000. That is a decrease of £174,000, which is of a similar kind. This makes a total non-tax revenue of £35,780,000, bringing up the total revenue to £200,655,000, which is an increase of £2,412,000.


Can you give me the return of the Mineral Rights Duties separately from the other Land Duties?


I will give it to the right hon. Gentleman in the course of the evening. I have not got it here. The total expenditure is £205,985,000. That means a deficit of £5,330,000 that has to be met. I wish that that represented the whole of the liabilities with which I am confronted. As it stands it makes taxation inevitable, and I think it very much better when taxation is inevitable that the Chancellor of the Exchequer should face-all urgent liabilities in the immediate future and make a scheme of taxation that will deal with them all at the same time.