“A more confused and illogical condition of things it is impossible to imagine. The House ought really to take the opportunity of threshing out the principle upon which these equivalent grants ought to be distributed between the three countries."
Lord St. Aldwyn said—
“That he always had a very strong objection to the system of Equivalent Grants, because when they had to make a grant for certain purposes to England, they were obliged to make proportionate grants to Ireland and Scotland quite irrespective of whether they needed them or not."
Neither the “Imperial” contribution basis nor the “Population” basis, which has in some instances been resorted to for grants in aid, is satisfactory, nor is the method desirable of setting aside a certain fund raised by some particular tax to finance a particular service. For instance, the subvention of Education in Ireland out of the “Whisky money” recently broke down owing to the diminution of the Revenue from this source. The more sober Ireland became, the less she got for Education. Chaos was imminent, and finally, after much friction, a special grant had to be made from the Treasury to save the situation. There are numerous instances in which great complications have been caused in dealing with local authorities owing to these methods of making grants in aid, and the system should be reformed. The true basis is the basis of each Kingdom’s need.... England has her needs, let them be supplied. Scotland has hers, let them be supplied. Ireland has hers, and having regard to her present comparative poverty, let them be supplied “not grudgingly or of necessity,” but by the Chancellor of the Exchequer “as a cheerful giver.” This is the constitutional principle under the Act of Union, and the soundest financial principle to observe for the United Kingdom.
[Footnote 76: 56 Geo. III. c. 98.]
[Footnote 77: “Hansard,” Feb. 27, 1865, vol. 177, p. 813.]
[Footnote 78: “Financial Relations Report,” 1896, c. 8262, vol. iii. p. 194.]
[Footnote 79: 1896, c. 8262, p. 194.]
[Footnote 80: “Hansard,” 1888, vol. 327, p. 1287.]
[Footnote 81: “Parl. Deb.,” vol. 332, p. 790.]
[Footnote 82: Ibid., vol. 120, p. 976.]
[Footnote 83: “Parl. Deb.,” vol. 120, p. 823.]
[Footnote 84: Ibid., vol. 175, p. 1088.]
[Footnote 85: Ibid., May 31, 1903.]
THE ECONOMICS OF SEPARATISM
BY L. S. AMERY, M.P.