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which have always been undervalued. Out of 700,000 houses, 250,000 are calculated to pay to the assessed taxes; I shall therefore take the rent of houses at no more than six millions. In the early statements to which I have alluded, the profits gained by the professors of the law alone are estimated at one million and a half; I cannot suppose that they are at all diminished. Allowing, besides, for all the branches of the medical profession, I conceive that two millions is a very small sum as the amount of the incomes arising from the professions.
The next head of income relates to the profits of retail trade: but there are persons of a certain description, with respect to whom it will be necessary to make tome allowance. The reduction 1 shall propose to take at one-eighth of the nett sum of the profits of the trade of Great Britain, after which there will remain a «am of 5,000,000/. applicable to the general operation of the tax. There will then remain another article of taxation, which is the income spent in this country by persons who derive it from other parts of the world; and unquestionably all who reside in this kingdom, and draw their means from sources out of it, cannot be dissatisfied at contributing to their own support and protection. Of this description, the only persons I shall think it necessary to estimate are those whose incomes arise from their having property in Ireland, and who reside in this country, and persons owning estates in the West ladies, or receiving the interest of mortgages on estates in that part of the world. With respect to those persons whose incomes arise from Ireland, I believe it is the generally received opinion, that the property of persons of this description "mounted to at least 1,000,000/., a considerable time since, and How, from the increase of rents, it may reasonably be estimated far beyond that sum. With respect to the incomes of estates in the West Indies, the total amount cannot be estimated at less than 7,000,000/. sterling, and far the greater amount is produced from the property of persons residing in Great Britain, who either own estates, or have mortgages upon them for which they receive interest. From that are to be deducted the amount of the exports carried not, and the chargu of cultivating the estates in the West Indies; after which defaction, I estimate the produce of inMtae ia the West Indies at four millions.
Thus I think I may fairly estimate at five millions the 'whole produce of income arising beyond seas, and enjoyed by persons in this country.
The next description of property is the income of persons not I in trade. Under this head will be included annuities of all kinds, public and private mortgages, and income arising from money lent upon securities under various denominations. At the same time the committee will go along with me in seeing that, in estimating the general rental of the land of England, I have taken it with all its burthens, and consequently have included the mortgages. In the practical detail of the measure, it will come to be decided whether it shall fall on the land owner, or on the mortgagee. In respect, therefore, of this description of property, I do not now make any distinct estimate. With respect to private annuities of another kind, it is also difficult to ascertain their amount. Not so with regard to public annuities; we have no difficulty in ascertaining the exact amount of the annuities paid by the public to individuals, and I shtill have no hesitation in submitting to the committee, that when a general assessment upon income is to take place, no distinction ought to be made as to the sources from which that income may arise. There can be no fair objection taken by the stockholder upon the occasion j there can be no question of a breach of good faith with the public creditor, by thus imposing upon him what every other subject of the realm is to incur. The public creditor enjoys his security under the most sacred obligations of the state, and whenever an idea has been started of imposing upon the stockholders, separately arid distinctly, any sort of tax, I have reprobated the attempt, as utterly inconsistent with the good faith of public engagement. Parliament has always gone along with me in the feeling that no such tax ought to be levied upon them, and they have uniformly acted upon this feeling, on the principle, that, as the public creditors came forward and lent their money to the state in the moment of itsnecessity, while at the same time they bore, in common with every other description of his majesty's subjects, the taxes on consumption, they were to be secured against any imposts, distinctly levelled at them as annuitants of the public; and the parliament has felt this more particularly from the recollection of the duty which: they owe to persons who had embarked «o much, and identified themselves so intimately with the state. Against any direct tax upon the stockholder, then, I am sure the committee would set themselves in Opposition; but the matter is materially reversed, when a tax is to be levied upon the income of every description of persons in the realm; when it is no longer in the power of the stockholder to say, I could avoid this tax by removing my property from the funds to landed security, or to trade; every argument against including him in the assessment is withdrawn. The protection yielded to the stockholder, is the same as to the landholder, the merchant, and the manufacturer. The duty, therefore, is the same, and every other description of persons in the country would have a right to complain, if, when they are called upon for a sacrifice of this extraordinary nature, so numerous a body of persons were to be exempted from the assessment. I am confident, therefore, that every gentleman who hears me, will agree that the principle of the measure is not liable to any imputation of breach of faith. It cannot be called a resumption of the annuity that has been granted to the public creditors, nor an infringement of the contract that was originally made with them. They are, in this instance, only to do that which every other body of men in the kingdom are to do; they are to make a sacrifice of part of their income to the necessities of the state, upon the principle of giving security to all which they possess. I should say to the stockholder, as one of the public, "if you expect from the state the protection which is common to us all, you ought also to make the sacrifice which we are called upon to make. It is not" peculiar to you; it does not belong to the quality of your income; but it is made general, and required from all; you could not embark your capital in any other species of security in which it would not be subject to the same charge." I do not know what objection the stockholder could make to this appeal. I include, therefore, the public annuitants in the view of the proposed tax, and there is no difficulty in estimating the amount of this species of income. At the same time, it is to be taken into consideration, that all that part of the public annuities which have been redeemed by the nation, is to be exempted from the charge of the tax. Taking the amount of the redemption, therefore, at what it Bow appears to be,
the rental of the public annuitants may be estimated at 15,000,000/.; but here, as in all the other cases, both of the land and rental, and of other sources of property, there will, of course, be admitted the same exemptions to all annuitants who have less than 601. a year, and the same modifications to all who possess from 60/. to 200/. a year. At the same time it is to be considered, that these exemptions and modifications are only to apply to those individuals whose whole income amounts to less than 200/. a year. If persons possess incomes from various sources, they are to be calculated in the aggregate; for the exemption or the modification wilt not apply, if the whole income should not be under the stipulated sum. I am sure, that I shall over-rate the amount of these exemptions and modifications, when I deduct one-fifth from the sum that I have stated the public annuities to be; but I do not admit that deduction, and therefore state the total of the income from the public funds at 12,000,000/.
There now remain the other great sources of trade to the inhabitants of this country;—the produce of trade, foreign and domestic: and this branch of income is, in its nature, more difficult of estimate than any other. We have, however, light* and aids by which we may come to a knowledge of a material part, at least, of this source of national wealth, I mean the produce of our foreign trade. The capital employed in this way is certainly not less than 80,000,000/. sterling. Assuming this as the capital, the next question is, what we ought to take as the profit to all the description of persons employed; in carrying on this branch of our trade? In estimating this, we must necessarily include in our view, not merely the merchant who exports, but all the orders and descriptions of persons from the manufacturer upwards, who are in any way connected with our export trade. Under this head come in the profits of brokerage, wharfage, and carriage, with all the other contributory trades connected with foreign commerce; and I am sure I make a moderate calculation, when I estimate the average of the profits upon the capital of 80,000,000/. at 15 per cent. 1 take, therefore, 12,000,000/, as the income of all the persons connected with the foreign trade of this kingdom.
Therenowremains that which more than any other branch of our income baffles the power of scrutiny, and affords even verylimited grounds for conjecture: I mean the profits arising from domestic trade and manufacture. Here the many descriptions of persons whose skill and industry are the source of income in all the progress of our arts and manufactures, from tie first preparation of the rude and ra» material to its state of perfection, jerre to make calculation almost impossible from their variety and extent. Even bere, however, we have some means of forming an idea. Of the general capital of80,000,000/. employed in the foreign trade, it has been pretty accurately determined, that about 30,000,000/. are destined and employed in the export of the leading manufactures of England. I am sure, then, that the committee will go along with me in sayin?, that the amount of the capital and sum employed in internal trade mu?t be four times the amount of oar export of British manufactures. When we look at the vast machine of Irade in all its parts, let any gentleman ask himself whether, in the woollen manufactures, cotton, linen, hardware, pottery, and in all the other great and leading branches of manufacture, there can be a less sum employed than four times the Mount of that which is appropriated by Ihe merchant for the purposes of exportation? Viewing all the enormous capital invested in domestic manufacture, I cannot take it at less than 120,000,000/. and upon this capital I estimate the gain at no more than 15 per cent, making a sum of 1^,000,000/. per annum of income.— There is one other description of income which, though it embraces a vast variety of individuals, is reducible to none of the former heads, but comes naturally to be included in the article of domestic trade; I mean artisans, architects, brewers, distillers, builders, brickmakers, masons, carpenters, and all that innumerable class of persons who, by skill in their professions, draw their incomes from the general prosperity of the country. The committee will at once perceive how numerous and °ow varied this class of persons must be, andhow impossible it is to arrive at anaccurate criterion of the general amount of their gains. I am sure, however, they ■8 ajrree with me that I understate it, »hen 'l take it at 10,000,000/. per annum. I thus estimate the whole amount of our internal manufactures and trade at 28,000,000/. a year.
1 have thus rapidly gone through all fte distinct branches of national rental, [VOL XXXIV.]
and of national profits, from which we have to derive the tax that I mean to propose to you. I have through the whole, been anxious to understate the amount of the estimate, and to overrate the exemptions and deductions that it would be necessary to make from each. I make the whole annual rental and profits, after making the deductions which I think reasonable, 102,000,000/. sterling. For the sake of greater clearness, I will recapitulate the several heads:
Land rental, after deducting one- £. fifth 20,000,000
Tenant's rental of land, deducting
two-thirds of the rack rent • • • • 6,000,000
Tythes, deducting one-fifth 4,000,000
Mines, canal-navigation, cite, deducting one-fifth 3,000,000
Rental of houses, deducting onefifth 5,000,000
Profits of professions 2,000,000
Rental of Scotland, taking it at one-eighth of that of England 5,000,000
Income of persons resident in Great Britain, drawn from possessions beyond seas 5,000,000
Annuities from the public funds, after deducting one-fifth for exemptions and modifications • • Isjooojooo1
Profits on the capital employed in our foreign commerce 12,000,000
Profits on the capital employed in domestic trade, and the profits of skill and industry 28,000,000'
In all £Wl,000,000Upon this sum a tax of 10 per cent is likely to produce 10,000,000/. a year, and this is the sum at which I shall assume it. Now, supposing that ten millions is the sum thus collected, gentlemen will recollect that, in the last session of parliament, the assessed taxes were the only part of the public resources which were mortgaged for the sum of 8,000,000/. borrowed for the public service in 1797- I should think, therefore, that the sum now proposed to be raised in lieu of the assessedtaxes, should, after its appropriation to the supplies of the present year, remain as a pledge for the discharge of that sum for which the assessed taxes were a security, and also for the discharge of the loan of the present year, beyond what will be' paid out of the sinking fund. Taking the assessed taxes- at four millions, they would have been mortgaged for two years after peace;—and thus the advantage of this measure is this, that no greater sums will be raised on any individuals than those which have been hitherto paid, av [C]
least by such as have rendered the measure of the legislature effectual; they will be relieved of n greater than a proportional 6hare of their burthen, and the duration of the burthen will not be half the time. But it does not stop here; it looks anxiously tothealleviationoftheburthensof the country, by a great temporary exertion; it looks to the equality of the tax, and the generalefficacy of the nieasure, conscious that on them depends our success in the great cause in which wc are engaged.—In the mode of applying the sum now to be raised, there are different ways. The sum which the assessed taxes were applied to discbarge amounted last year to eight millions; it would be only to borrow a sura equal to the debt to supply the deficiency; but it occurs to me, that a more simple and direct mode is, to apply this sum, in the first instance, to the supplies of the year, but at the same time to enact, that the tax shall continue till it has discharged the debt for which the assessed taxes were mortgaged, and then to make a farther charge for what may be borrowed beyond what the sinking fund will discharge. Supposing this ten per cent on income produces 10,000,000/. the period when I should propose it to take effect would be the 5th of April next. I should propose the repeal of the former assessed taxes at the same period; but from the calculation I have made 44 millions will be raised from the 1st Feb. 1798, to the 1st Feb. 1799. It would, therefore, be more beneficial to commence the operation of this new measure at an earlier period, because of the benefit of the increased rate of taxation; but there will be the addition of what will come in under the assessed taxes, which will amount to 700,000/. Thus there will be raised 10,700,000/. But this is not applicable to the whole of the subject; for gentlemen will recollect, that the interest of the 8,000,000/. was also charged on the assessed taxes. The interest will continue in the course of the present year, to which also is to be added the interest of whatever loan may be made this year. This will amount to about 1,500,000/., which leaves the sum of 9,200,000/. as applicable to the services of the present year. This aid would be all that is necessary to furnish the ways and means for the supplies, except as to the sum of 24 millions: 14 millions, therefore, is the sum necessary to be raised by loan, of which, however, millions is discharged by the operation of the sinking
fund, consequently 9£ millions is the whole sumtobeadiied to the national debt. Iwish, therefore to lay this down as a principle, that Di millions is the sum to be raised this year, for which I should propose to charge as a mortgage the income tax, after discharging the former mortgage. After enlarging upon the benefits likely to result from the measure of raising a considerable portion of the supplies within the year, the right hon. gentleman concluded with moving the following Resolutions:
1. " That it is the opinion of this committee, that so much of an act made in the last session of parliament, intituled, ' An Act for 'granting to his Majesty an Aid and Contri'bution for the Prosecution of the War,' as charges any person with an additional duty in proportion to the amount of the rates or duties to which, prior to the 5th clay of April, 1798, such person was assessed, according to any assessment made in pursuance of any act of parliament in force at the time of passing tbe said act of the last session, be repealed.
2. " That it is the opinion of this committee, that, towards raising the supply granted to his majesty, there be charged annually, during a term to be limited, the several rates and duties following, upon all income arising from property in Great Britain, belonging to any of his majesty's subjects, although not resident in Great Britain; and upon all income of every person residing in Great Britain, and of every body politic or corporate, or company, fraternity, or society of persons, whether corporate or not corporate, in Great Britain, whether any such income shall arise from lands, tenements, or hereditaments, wheresoever the same shall be situated in Great Britain, or elsewhere; or from any kind of personal property, or other property whatever; or from any profession, office, employment, trade, or vocation; that is to say,
"One one-hundrcd-and-twentieth part of such income, if the same shall amount unto 60/. per annum, and shall be under 65/. per annum.
"One ninety-fifth part of such income, if the same shall amount to 65/. but shall be under 70/.
"One seventieth part of such income, if the same shall amount to 70/. but shall be under 75/.
"One sixty-fifth part of such income, if the same shall amount to 75/. but shall be under 80/.
"One sixtieth part of such income, if the same shall amount to 80/. but shall be under 85/.
"One fifty-fifth part of such income, if the same shall amount to 85/. but shall be under 90/.
"One fiftieth part of such income, if the same shall amount to 90/. but shall be under 95/.
"One forty-fifth part of such income, if tlx same shall amount to <>5/. but shall be under J 00/.
"One fortieth part of such income, if the same stall amount to 100/. but shall be under 1031.
11 One thirty-eighth part of such income, if the same shall amount to 105/. but shall be nailer 110/.
"One thirty sixth part of such income, if die same shall amount to 110/. but shall be under Hit.
"One thirty-fourth part of such income, if the same shall amount to 115/. but shall be wider 120/.
"One thirty-second part of such income, if the same shall amount to l'lOl. but shall be under 125/.
* One thirtieth part of such income, if the time shall amount to 125/. but shall be under ]»/.
"One twenty-eighth part of such income, if the same shall amount to 130/. but shall be under 135/.
"One twenty-sixth part of such income, if tie same shall amount to 135/. but shall be under 140/.
"One twenty-fourth part of such income, if the same shall amount to 140/. but shall be under 145/.
"One twenty-second part of such income, it the same shall amount to H i/, but shall be tinder 150/.
"One twentieth part of such income, if the same shall amount to 150/. but shall be under 155/.
"One nineteenth part of such income, if ft* same shall amount to 155/. but shall be under 100/.
* One eighteenth part of such income, if the same shall amount to 160/. but shall be nnder 165/.
"One seventeenth part of such income, if the same shall amount to 165/. but shall be under 170/.
"One sixteenth part of such income, if the ame shall amount to 170/. but shall be under 175/.
"One fifteenth part of such income, if the same shall amount to 175/. but shall be under 180/.
"One fourteenth part of such income, if toe same shall amount to 180/. but shall be under 185/.
M One thirteenth part of such income, if the same shall amount to 185/. but shall be under 190/.
0 One twelfth part of such income, if the »me shall amount to 190/. but shall be under mi.
"One eleventh part of such income, if the same shaft amount to 195/. but shall be under 200/.
"And one-tenth .part of such income, if the s»me shall amount to 200/. or upwards."
Mr. Tfamey said:—Upon the great
question now before us, the right hon. gentleman seem9 to expect either support or silence from this side of the House. To this I answer, that he cannot expect support; he can hardly expect silence; because, having opposed the assessed taxes, it would be strange if I were silent upon a measure, which is, in my opinion, infinitely more destructive, even than that destructive measure. I must consider, Sir, what the effect is of this House agreeing to any principle laid down bv that right hon. gentleman. This House agreed last year to the principle laid down by him in his assessed taxes, but the House had not then the idea of going the length which he now proposes; they thought the whole measure had better have been abandoned altogether, than that it should cause the disclosure of the condition of every person in the kingdom. But now the minister, having got the House to recognize the principle, goes a step farther, and proposes that the House should follow him. That proposition the committee have now before them, and I will venture to assert, that even he, confident as he was in the majority that has always supported him, would not have ventured last year, to have laid before this House the monstrous proposition which is now before us. But he says, 41 You need not make any disclosure of your condition in life." What! If the disclosure I make be not satisfactory; has not the commissioner power to increase the duty on me at his discretion? and are not all these proceedings to depend upon the evidence of an infamous informer? To such a proposition I cannot assent. But that is not all; for if this House agrees to that proposition now, is it too much to say upon experience, if this tax does not come up to the system, a general disclosure of all property must take place, and that too in the course of the very next year? This measure puts a tenth of the property of England in a 6tate of requisition—a measure which the French have followed, in their career of revolutionary rapine, and which the chancellor of the exchequer has, with all his eloquence, justly branded with the hardest epithets. I do not think our finances in a state so [desperate as to justify this plan of indiscriminate rapine; for such in my opinion it is. The thing is in its nature unjust. Does the minister mean to saj', that a person possessing an income for life of a certain sum, and another person of the same income which he