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Years.

Great Britain distinct from Ireland.

Our National Re-
Public Burdens. venue or Taxable

Proportion of Bur-
Income.

den to Revenue. £22,000,000 £125,000,000 nearly 18 to 100 60,000,000 221,000,000

27 to 100 80,000,000 300,000,000

27 to 100

1792
1806
1814

Great Britain and Ireland. 1822 1 70,000,000 1 250,000,000

28 to 100' Thus it appears that our proportion of burden to revenue is greater now than it was before the commencement of the war, by more than one third, or about 36 per cent.! Mr. Colquhoun estimated the property created in Great Britain and Ireland, in the year 1812, at 430 millions; of which agriculture in its various branches created 217 millions: but, as he included under this head a very large sum for produce appropriated to the food of horses and cattle, which Mr. Lowe rejects, (though we cannot see why, unless Mr. C. reckoned this produce twice over, that is, a second time in some other shape,) the latter, confining himself to articles for the consumption of man, or for purposes of manufacture, assumes the annual amount of the production of Great Britain and Ireland at 350 millions; and taking likewise about 30 per cent. of this sum as exempt from the visit of the assessor, he leaves our taxable income at about 250 millions. The rent of land, allowing 40 per cent. for abatements since the peace, he makes

£30,000,000 Tythe,

4,000,000 Rental of houses,

16,000,000 Farming income, positively nothing, but esti

mated, with a view to the future, at the medium rate of 6 per cent. on 200,000,0001.

the supposed amount of capital employed, - 12,000,000 Income from trades and professions, exclusive of those below 50l. a year,

22,000,000 Wages and incomes below 501. a year, com

puted on a population of more than 14 millions, (exclusive of Ireland,) and deducting somewhat more than a third, (say five millions,) for persons either above or below those who receive wages,

80,000,000 Interest of debt, funded and unfunded, since the reduction of the 5 per cent. stock, 30,000,000

Carry forwards, - 194,000,000 K 2

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Brought forwards, £194,000,000 Conjectural amount of interest of money on private and public securities,

20,000,000 Expenditure of government for army, navy, civil-list, &c. exclusive of Ireland,

16,000,000

230,000,000 Ireland : taxable income computed during the war at 35,000,0001.; at present,

25,000,000

255,000,000 Of which, lost to taxation, being expended abroad,

4,000,000

Remainder, £251,000,000 Now the connection between increase of population and increase of revenue is very remarkable here; for, taking the above statement, we have from the wages of labor, directly affected by an increase of population, -£100,000,000 From capital and labor combined, a portion

of national income which is also much affected by advance of population,

50,000,000 Rent of land, of houses, and interest of money, indirectly affected by the rise of population,

100,000,000 Total, including Ireland, £250,000,000 Taxation, as we may see by the author's table in p. 230., is higher in this country than in any other of Europe, In England alone it amounts, on a supposed proportion, to 31. 2s. on each individual, or, taking in Scotland and Wales, to 21. 158. ; while in France it amounts to only ll. 45. The following table, in chap. X., on our Finances, gives the items : Comparative Taxation of Great Britain and France,

I GREAT BRITAIN AND IRELAND. Computed for 1823, after deducting the Taxes on Salt, Leather,

and Malt, lately reduced. Gross Amount, inclusive of the Expence of Collection. Assessed taxes,

£6,500,000 Customs,

11,000,000 Excise,

27,000,000 Stamps,

6,800,000 Land-tax,

1,200,000 Post-office (nett amount),

1,400,000 Crown-lands,

200,000 All other government-receipts,

1,900,000 Carry forwards, £56,000,000

Brought forwards, 56,000,000
Tithe,

4,000,000
Poor-rate, after deducting the portion
paid in lieu of wages,

5,000,000
£65,000,000

Total,

· FRANCE.
Gross Amount, inclusive of Expence of Collection.

Sterling Foncier, or land and house-tax,

• £9,000,000 Mobilier, a farther house-tax; also the window-tax, and the patentes or tax on professions,

3,000,000 Customs,

2,300,000 Excise; viz. duties on salt, tobacco, snuff, wine, spirits,

beer, and some lesser articles, the whole comprised under the name of droits reunis,

9,000,000 Stamps ; viz. enregistrement, domaine, et timbre, 6,000,000 Post-office (nett receipt),

600,000 Sale of wood from the public forests,

800,000 All other receipts and contingencies, including a large

municipal revenue collected from octrois, and other charges borne by the inhabitants of towns, - 6,300,000

£37,000,000 Equal, after adding 20 per cent. for the greater value of money, to

£45,000,000 • In this table of comparative taxation, the chief distinctive feature is the magnitude of our excise, customs, and assessed taxes, the proportion of which to the same taxes in France is as 45 to 20. Nothing can show more clearly the greater ability to pay on the part of a commercial community, of which so large a proportion are resident in towns; a circumstance conducive equally to ease of collection on the part of government, and to free consumption on that of the public. Hence, the magnitude of our receipts on spirits, beer, tea, sugar, wine, fruit; on certain articles of dress, as silk; or on that which more immediately marks a mercantile society, postage. Nothing, at the same time, lessens more the weight of an argument, frequently brought against our taxation, but the aid of which we disclaim, viz. that when computed at so much a head, it amounts to more than twice the average capitation of our neighbours.'

Our taxation being much higher than that of other countries, the profits of stock and interest of money are accordingly less ; and the natural consequence is the tendency of capital to be withdrawn from us to them. In order to check this daily increasing transmission of capital to foreign countries, not by legislative prohibitions, but by endeavouring to augment K 3

the

of

the returns on it, Mr. Lowe suggests the expediency of making a considerable abatement in the amount of taxation, and exchanging this amount for an annual loan. (See p. 338. et seq.) This is a novel proposition. He would not appropriate a large sipking fund or surplus revenue to the redemption of stock, but to the remission of taxes. Our debt admits of no direct reduction; and our hope of relief is. ñ that dimination of pressure which will follow the augmentation of our means, of our numbers, and of our national income. He thinks that we are confined to a choice of evils, viz. taxation, or borrowing: but surely there is a more safe and obvious outlet, reduction of expenditure, which may be carried much farther than it is commonly imagined. However, his doctrine is quite true that to relieve ourselves from a portion of our burden is, in fact, to extend the resources

posterity; inasmuch as the magnitude of the present pressure, by sending abroad the family of the annuitant and the money of the capitalist, operates to curtail the fund which is destined to become, in the hands of the next generation, the basis of national wealth. Unquestionably a great difference prevails between a loan for the purpose of expenditure and a loan for the purpose of reducing taxes: but we have great doubts whether contractors would be found for a loan even of the former description, without a government pledge of the taxes to pay its interest; and to raise a loan for the sake of remitting taxes in the first instance, while, in the second, we raise taxes to pay the interest of the loan, appears. to us a cireuitous and very questionable operation.

We meet with another table (Appendix, p. 104.) of a nature so interesting, and indeed so pleasing, that we cannot resist the temptation of transcribing it:

Comparison of our present Burdens with those of 1792.
Amount of taxation, tithe, and poor-rate, in Great
Britain and Ireland in 1792,

L22,000,000 The increase of our population since then (nearly

50 per cent.) enables us, without additional pressure on the individual, to bear a further burden of

11,000,000 Continental countries, our competitors in productive

industry, having, in general, increased their burdens in a ratio somewhat greater than their popu. lation, we are justified in regarding a corresponding increase on our part as not detrimental to our foreign trade. We add, on this account, a sum of

5,000,000 Carry forwards, £38,000,000

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Brought forwards, £38,000,000 The money in which taxes were paid'in 1792, being, when compared with our present currency, as 100 to 120 in value, we make a corresponding insertion of

7,000,000 on the ground that to that extent the excess

of our present taxation over that of 1792 is

nominal. Amount of burden which can be borne by us at

present, without greater disadvantage, in comparison with other countries, than we experienced in 1792,

£45,000,000 • We here assume the increase of population as the measure of the increase of national wealth, arising from our various improvements in agriculture, manufacture, navigation, &c. This proportion will be deemed considerably below the mark, by the majority of those who write or think on such subjects, whether it be the convert to Mr. Gray's doctrine, (p. 229.) that in the progress of society individual income increases in a larger ratio than population, or the practical observer, who founds his calculation on the surprising improvements, by steam-machinery and otherwise, during the last thirty years. These arguments rest, doubtless, on a very substantial basis, and nothing but the unfor. tunate fluctuations in individual property, attendant on our rapid transitions, would have prevented us from inserting a larger sum (probably 16 or 18,000,000 instead of 11,000,0001.) as the measure of the increase of national wealth, arising from our improvements.

This is rather a more cheering view of the effects of an increasing population, than that which is exhibited in the mournful phantasmagoria of Mr. Malthus. The connection between dense population and revenue is not imaginary; and the above table shews that, bad as the situation of the country now is, the means of its restoration to prosperity are yet within reach. The materials, the elements of wealth, are at hand, and only require to be skilfully combined and set in motion. Let us add to our productive industry; and not with the Resolutionist, subtract from it, under the vain and absurd notion that an augmented consumption, to be liqui. dated out of the taxes, is a panacea, when it is a poison of the deadliest venom, Let us also convert our paupers, now con suming little and producing less, into productive laborers, by the aid of parochial loans; or, if that be insufficient, by the aid of a national loan of capital : make them producers, and they will certainly become consumers to the extent of their means. As their means increase, so will their consumption, and as the population of the country augments, so will its revenue, provided that a rigid and unrelenting economy be introduced

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