HL Deb 11 June 1869 vol 196 cc1585-8

Order of the Day for the Second Reading, read.


, in moving that the Bill be now read the second time, said, he would briefly lay before the House the following statement of the Revenue and Expenditure of the country for the financial year 1868–9, and the Estimates, Income, and Expenditure of the present year, on which the Chancellor of the Exchequer had based his financial proposals. The Revenue for the financial year 1868–9 was as follows:—

Customs 22,424,000
Excise 20,462,000
Stamps 9,218,000
Taxes 3,494,000
Property Tax 8,618,000
Post Office 4,660,000
Crown Lands 360,000
Miscellaneous 3,355,99l
Total 72,591,991

The Expenditure had been—

Interest of Debt 26,618,326
Other Charges on the Consolidated Fund 1,887,286
Army 15,000,000
Navy 11,366,545
Miscellaneous Civil Service 8,983,019
Revenue Department 2,576,164
Post Office 2,445,l38
Post Office Packet Service 1,096,338
Abyssinia 3,000,000
Total 72,972,816

Adding £2,000,000 to the expenditure for the Abyssinian Expedition, the total Expenditure for the year was £74,972,816; to this was to be added for Fortifications, to be raised under special Acts of Parliament, £525,000, making a grand total of £75,497,816. The total Income being £72,951,991, there would be an excess of total Expenditure over Income for the year ended 31st March, 1869, of £2,905,824. The estimated Expenditure of this year as compared with the actual Expenditure of last year was

Interest on Debt, 1869–70 26,700,000
Interest on Debt, 1868–69 26,700,000
Other Charges on Consolidated Fund 1869–70 1,700,000
Other Charges on Consolidated Fund 1868–69 1,865,000
Army, 1869–70 14,230,000
Army 1868–69 15,456,000
Navy, 1869–70 9,997,000
Navy 1868–69 11,157,000
Civil Service Estimates, 1869–70 9,530,000
Civil Service Estimates 1868–69 9,249,000
Revenue Departments, 1869–70 4,976,000
Revenue Departments, 1868–69 4,968,000
Post Office Packet Service, 1869–70 1,090,000
Post Office Packet Service 1868–69 1,089,000
Total estimated Expenditure for 1869–70 68,223,000
Expenditure for last year, minus payments for expenditure to Abyssinia, £70,484,000; two payments for Abyssinia, £3,000,000 and £3,660,000, £6,600,000, bring the actual Expenditure of last year up to 77,084,000

Leaving Abyssinia out of the account, there would be a decrease of Expenditure for the current year as compared with last of £2,261,000. The estimated Revenue of the current year upon the scale existing at the close of the last financial year, and as compared with the Revenue of 1868–9, would stand thus—

Customs, 1869–70 22,450,000
Customs, 1868–69 22,424,000
Excise, 1869–70 20,450,000
Excise1868–69 20,462,000
Stamps,1869–70 9,350,000
Stamps 1868–69 9,218,00
Property Tax, 1869–70 8,800,000
Property Tax,1868–69 8,618,000
Post Office, 1869–70 4,880,000
Post Office,1868–69 4,660,000
Crown Lands, 1869–70 375,000
Crown Lands, 1868–69 360,000
Miscellaneous, 1869–70 3,000,000
Miscellaneous, 1868–69 3,355,99l
The total Income for 1868–69 was 72,591,900
The total Income for 1869–70 was estimated at 72,855,000
Total estimated Expenditure, exclusive of payments for Abyssinia, was 68,223,000
Comparing the estimated Revenue and Expenditure of the year 1869–70, there would have been a surplus of £4,632,000, bur for the cost of the Abyssinian War. This was estimated tit £9,000,000, of which £8,600,000 had been expended; but of this Ways and Means had been provided for only £4,000,000, us £1,000,000 of last year's Vote had been borrowed by means of Exchequer Bonds, leaving £4,000,000 still to be met. The surplus, therefore, of the current year, all but £32,000, would be required to make good the balance for the Abyssinian War. It appeared to the Chancellor of the Exchequer that there had been great defects in the system of collecting the land and assessed taxes. They had been collected in two instalments, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer calculated that by collecting them at once, and by the machinery of the Excise, at least £100,000 a year might be saved. The right hon. Gout Ionian proposed to convert most of the assessed taxes into license duties, and to make these duties payable at the beginning of each year, instead of in two instalments in October and April. He proposed that the land tax, the inhabited house duty, and the income tax should be paid in one payment, and at the beginning of the year. The Chancellor of the Exchequer contended that before the end of March, 1870. there would have been paid into the Exchequer £000,000 of the Excise licenses, £950,000 of the land and assessed taxes, and £1,800,000 of the income tax; or a total of £3,350,000: which, added to the £32,000, would give a. surplus of Revenue over Expenditure of £3,382,000 for the financial year. This "windfall," as it had been called the Chancellor of the Exchequer proposed to apply in remission of duties. A 1d. was to be taken off the income Tax, the 1s. duty on corn was to be abolished, as were also the fire insurance duties; various remissions and modifications were to be made in respect of the duties on hair-powder, armorial bearings, horses, and carriages. Comparing the estimated Revenue and Expenditure of the year 1869–70 there would have been a surplus of £4,632,000, but for the cost of the Abyssinian war, which was estimated at £9,000,000. Of this sum, £8,600,000 had been voted—namely, £2,000,000 in Novcmber,1867; £3,000,000 in April, 1868; and £3,600,000 in February, 1869. But of this Ways and Means had been provided for only £4,000,000, as £1,000,000 of last year's Votes had been borrowed on Exchequer Bonds, leaving £4,600,000 still to be met. With the exception, therefore, of the sum of £32,000, the surplus of the coming year would be absorbed by the amount due and voted for the Abyssinian War. The Bank balances stood at present at £3,775,000; but as we owed the Bank £1,000,000, there only stood to our credit £2,775,000—which was far too low a sum for safety. Apologizing to the House for the wearisome nature of the details, he had felt it to be his duty to lay before them, and thanking them for the patience with which they had listened to him, he begged to conclude by moving the second reading of the Bill.

Motion agreed to; Bill read 2a accordingly, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House on Monday next.