British Budgets 1887-88 to 1912-13

By Bernard Mallet | Go to book overview

promised in the last two sessions, was dealt with in this session.

Mr. Goschen's discussion of the problems connected with the death duties illustrated his profound appreciation of all the points at issue; but his political position, and perhaps his temperament, debarred him once again from effective action. This speech, the best in form which he had yet delivered, concluded with a striking passage in which he repudiated the charges of having in his budgets prepared "finicking" measures, of "want of breadth in his finance," of "harassing various interests by the imposition of small new taxes." In a balance-sheet of his deeds and misdeeds he thus summed up the former. "I have reduced the tobacco duty by £600,000. I have reduced the income-tax by £4,000,000. I have given £2,500,000 in relief of local taxation. I have provided £2,000,000 extra for national defence. I have converted upwards of 500,000,000 of consols, securing an annual saving in interest of £1,400,000 at once and £2,800,000 bye-and-bye, and have been able to pay off more debt during my two financial years than has ever been paid off before in the same two successive occasions. Surely the scale of these operations is on no petty scale."


MR GOSCHEN'S FOURTH BUDGET, 1890-91.

April 17, 1890.

AT last Mr. Goschen had the opportunity, with a third large prospective surplus, of dealing with taxation unfettered by demands from his colleagues. The

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