British Budgets 1887-88 to 1912-13

By Bernard Mallet | Go to book overview

well as for the Army and Navy," and a "correct and business-like statement should be issued of the gross amount paid into the customs and excise, the gross amount paid for the death duties, and the gross amount paid to the local taxation account."


1899-1900. SIR MICHAEL HICKS-BEACH'S FOURTH BUDGET.

April 13, 1899.

THE swollen surpluses of the last three years (of Exchequer receipts over estimated revenue--£5,812,000, £3,470,000 and £3,570,000) had not, as Sir Michael Hicks-Beach remarked, been "altogether creditable to the financial foresight" of himself or his predecessor; and he had accordingly decided to frame his estimates for the year ending in March, 1899, in a more hopeful spirit than he had previously done. The events of the year 1898 which included the war between Spain and America, the battle of Omdurman, the Fashoda crisis and the acquisition of Wei-hai-wei, seemed calculated to belie these hopes, and "all the pundits had prophesied a deficit." But there had been no retrogression in the condition of the people, and it was with some justifiable pride that the Chancellor of the Exchequer was able to announce that, though both the revenue and the expenditure had exceeded his estimates (both of these having proved inaccurate), the balance was on the right side, and that no more had been extracted from the pockets of the taxpayers than had been required for the

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