British Budgets 1887-88 to 1912-13

By Bernard Mallet | Go to book overview

MR. LLOYD GEORGE'S BUDGETS.

FIRST BUDGET, 1909-10.

April 29, 1909.

WITH this budget we enter upon a stage of financial history with which, for two reasons, it is proposed to deal in an even more summary fashion than has been adopted in the preceding statements. In the first place it appears alike unnecessary and undesirable to dwell at length upon events which are still fresh in the public memory and which must remain for some time to come a subject of party controversy. In the second place to give an adequate idea of this budget would extend the present volume beyond all permissible limits. The only peace budget of this series with which that of 1909 is comparable is Sir William Harcourt's budget in 1894. The latter is memorable as the first really drastic assertion of the place of direct taxation in our fiscal system, and for the introduction of the democratic principle of graduation, and in both respects its consequences were destined to be far reaching; but it dealt only or mainly with one branch of the revenue, that of the death duties. The budget of 1909, on the other hand, not only ranged over the whole field of taxation, but was significant for its abandonment of the older limitations attaching to the raising of revenue and

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