As the publication of this work has been delayed beyond the time intended, I think it not improper, all circumstances considered, to state the causes that have occasioned the delay.
The reader will probably observe, that some parts in the plan contained in this work for reducing the taxes, and certain parts in Mr Pitt's speech at the opening of the present session, Tuesday, January 31,* are so much alike, as to induce a belief, that either the Author had taken the hint from Mr Pitt, or Mr Pitt from the Author.--I will first point out the parts that are similar, and then state such circumstances as I am acquainted with, leaving the reader to make his own conclusion.
Considering it almost an unprecedented case, that taxes should be proposed to be taken off, it is equally as extraordinary that such a measure should occur to two persons at the same time; and still more so, (considering the vast variety and multiplicity of taxes) that they should hit on the same specific taxes. Mr Pitt has mentioned, in his speech, the tax on Carts and Waggons--that on Female Servants-- the lowering the tax on Candles, and the taking off the tax of three shillings on Houses having under seven windows.
Every one of those specific taxes are a part of the plan contained in this work, and proposed also to be taken off. Mr Pitt's plan, it is true, goes no farther than to a reduction of three hundred and twenty thousand pounds; and the reduction proposed in this work to nearly six millions. I have made my calculations on only sixteen millions and an half of revenue, still asserting that it was 'very nearly, if not quite, seventeen millions.' Mr Pitt states it at 16,690,000. I know enough of the matter to say, that he has not overstated it. Having thus given the particulars, which correspond in this work and his speech, I will state a chain of circumstances that may lead to some explanation.