The Next Ten Years in British Social and Economic Policy

By G. D. H. Cole | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XVIII
THE LABOUR BUDGET—EXPENDITURE

An analysis of the national expenditure as it is—Revenue-producing expenditure—Debt charges—The fighting services—The costs of government— —The social services—War Pensions—Proposed reductions in military and naval expenditure—Only the Debt and the fighting services offer real prospects of economy—New expenditure required—The cost of unemployment—The distinction between capital charges and charges on current revenue—The methods of new borrowing—Its effect on conversion operations—Cost of the National Labour Corps—How far will it be an additional cost?—The Unemployment Insurance Acts—Rates of pay for members of the Labour Corps—Saving in Poor Law expenditure —Family Allowances—Cost of various schemes—Case against differential rates—Cost of educational reforms—The school-leaving age—Effects on unemployment of a high school-leaving age—Cost of Local Government reforms—Taxation of Land Values—The Labour Budget as a whole— Total potential increases in expenditure—Reductions in existing charges —Loss of revenue—Yield of new taxes—Are the proposed rates of taxation too high?—The sum raised will be largely redistributed as income—The relation of the proposed taxation to the national income— —Its effects on the supply of capital—Will there be enough 'saving'?— Difficulties of the transition—The vital problem is the restoration of industry.

We have seen in the previous chapter that Mr. Churchill budgeted for a prospective total expenditure of £820,000,000 in the year 1928-1929.1 This figure, however, included the total expenditure on the Post Office, which is in fact a highly profitable concern, estimated to yield during the year a net profit of well over £8,000,000. Deducting the Post Office expenditure of over £57,000,000, we reach a total of £763,000,000. This includes

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1
As I go to press before Mr. Churchill's 1929 Budget or the end of the financial year, I have not attempted to revise these figures in the light of later events, or to make any allowance in them, beyond that made by Mr. Churchill in 1928, for the effects of de-rating. The reader can bring the figures up to date for himself by comparing them with the Budget statement of 1929, which will be available before this book appears.

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