HC Deb 04 May 1915 vol 71 c1004

I will first take the Revenue. A part altogether from the new duties, owing to the heavy forestalments in February and March, it was anticipated that there would have been a considerable falling off in the revenue from spirits. The new duties—having regard to the fact that they are only imposed from the beginning of May, there is practically a loss of a whole month—are accompanied by a proposal which will involve dilution to it considerable extent—to what extent it is very difficult to say. Up to the present the minimum standard of dilution permitted by the Government has always been accepted as the standard. Having regard, therefore, to that fact and to the fall in consumption owing to the increased duty, we can only put the total revenue from spirits at £23,400,000. Beer is put at £32,000,000, which will be an increase of £16,120,000 upon the revenue received last year, wine £2,350,000, which is an increase of £1,346,000, and tea £9,000,000, which is an increase of £372,000. The Committee will recollect that there were very considerable forestalments in anticipation of a probable increase in the tea duty. These forestalments amounted to £1,000,000, and but for that, the increase this year would have been £2,372,000. Cocoa, coffee, and chicory are down by £21,000. Sugar is down by £315,000. There are several other items, but I will only call attention to our estimate respecting tobacco, because we anticipate from that a loss of £1,169,000 in revenue this year as compared with last year. The total from Customs and Excise this year will be, according to our estimate, £95,200,000, an increase of £13,697,000 upon the actual receipts and an increase of £14,225,000 upon the Exchequer receipts of last year.