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Full text of "War-time financial problems"

THE WEAKENED POUND           129

revenue from 200 millions before the war to 842
millions, the amount which we are expected to
receive during the current year on the basis of the
proposed additions to taxation, without taking
into account any revenue from the suggested
luxury tax. But, as I have already pointed out,
the comparison of war pounds with pre-war pounds
is in itself deceptive. The pounds that we are
paying to-day in taxation are by no means 'the
pounds that we paid before the war ; their value in
effective buying power has been diminished by some-
thing like one half. So that even with the proposed
additions to taxation we shall not have much more
than doubled the revenue of the country from
taxation and State services as calculated in effective
buying power. When we consider how much is at
stake, that the very existence, not only of the
country but of civilisation, is endangered by German
aggression, it cannot be said that in the matter of
taxation the country is doing anything like what it
ought to have done or anything like what it would
have done, willingly and readily, if a proper example
had been set by the leading men among us, and if
the right kind of financial lead had been given to
the country by its rulers.

When we look at the details of the Budget, it
will be seen that the Chancellor has made a con-
siderable advance upon his achievement of a year
ago, when he imposed fresh taxation amounting to
26 millions, twenty of which came from excess profits
duty, and could therefore not be counted upon as
permanent, in his Budget for a year which was