THE YEAR’S BALANCE-SHEET
The Figures of the National Budget—A Large Increase in Revenue and a Larger in Expenditure—Comparisons with Last Year and with the Estimates—The Proportions borne by Taxation still too Low—The Folly of our Policy of Incessant Borrowing—Its Injustice to the Fighting Men.
At first sight the figures of revenue and expenditure for the year ending March 31st are extremely satisfactory, at any rate on the revenue side. The Chancellor anticipated a year ago a revenue from taxation and State services of L638 millions, and the receipts into the Exchequer on these accounts actually amount to L707 millions. On the expenditure side, however, the increase over the Budget estimate was very much greater. The estimate was L2290 millions, and the actual amount expended was L2696 millions. Instead, therefore, of a deficit of L1652 millions having to be met by borrowing, there was an actual gap, to be filled by this method, of, roughly, L1990 millions.
To take the revenue side of the matter first, this being by far the most cheering and satisfactory, we find that the details of the revenue, as compared with last year’s, were as follows:—
ending Year ending
Mar. 31, 1918. Mar. 31, 1917. Increase. Decrease.
L L L L
Customs 71,261,000 70,561,000 700,000 —– Excise 38,772,000 56,380,000 —– 17,608,000 Estate, etc.,
Duties 31,674,000 31,232,000 442,000 —–
Stamps 8,300,000 7,878,000 422,000 —– Land Tax 665,000 640,000 25,000 —–
House Duty 1,960,000 1,940,000 20,000 —– Income Tax and
Super Tax 239,509,000 205,033,000