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Full text of "War-time financial problems"

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THE  CHECK  TO   SAVING           71

" Why/' people argue, " should we go out of our
way to save and take these securities if, when the
war is over, a large slice of our savings is to be taken
away from us by means of this levy on capital ? If
we had been doubting between the enjoyment of
such comforts and luxuries as are possible in war-
time and the austere duty of thrift, we shall naturally
now choose the pleasanter path, spend our money
on ourselves and on those who depend on us, instead
of saving it up to be taken away again when the war
is over, while those who have spent their money as
they liked will be let off scot free/' Certainly, it is
much to be regretted that the Chancellor of the
Exchequer should have let such a statement go forth,
especially as he himself admits that perhaps he has
not thought enough about it to justify him in saying
so. If the Chancellor of the Exchequer has not
time to think about what he is going to say to a
Labour deputation which approaches him on an
extremely important revolution in our fiscal system,
it is surely high time that we should get one who has
sufficient leisure to enable him to give his mind to
problems of this sort when they are put before him.

In the course of this review of the forms in which
suggestions for a levy on capital have been put
forward, some of the difficulties and injustices in-
herent in it have already been pointed out. Its
advocates seem as a rule to base the demand for
it upon an assumption which involves a complete
fallacy. This is that, since the conscription of life
has been applied during the war, it is necessary that
conscription of wealth should also be brought to