The narrow surplus of L144,000 has disappeared, and instead there is on present-day figures the substantial deficit of L2,535,000. Here again it may be observed that the Excise duties are fixed by the Imperial Parliament, and the Postal charges are presumably also invariable. The first Budget deficit would, as before, be not less than L3,000,000. The taxes within the absolute control of the Irish Parliament would have been producing a revenue of L2,838,000. It is within this range of taxation, or by the imposition of new direct taxes, that the Irish Chancellor of the Exchequer would have been compelled to raise an additional L3,000,000 in order to make the two sides of his account balance.
Owing to the mistake already referred to, Mr. Gladstone prepared and presented a third scheme, whose principal features were as follows:—
1. Ireland’s contribution to Imperial expenditure to be one-third of the true revenue of taxes levied in Ireland.
2. Ireland to be credited with miscellaneous receipts and surplus (if any) arising from postal services.
3. Ireland to pay out of revenues credited to her, two-thirds of the cost of the Constabulary, all Civil Government charges and any deficit on postal services.
4. The Customs and Inland Revenue duties and the rates for Postal charges to be fixed and collected by Imperial Parliament.
5. After six years (1) Irish contribution to Imperial Services to be revised; (2) the collection of Inland Revenue duties to be undertaken by Irish Government; (3) Irish legislation to impose the stamp duties, income tax, and excise licences. The financial clauses as thus remodelled and simplified were expected to produce a surplus of L512,000. The characteristic feature of this arrangement was the provision for handing over to the Imperial Exchequer one-third of the Irish true tax revenue as Ireland’s payment on account of Imperial Services. How matters would stand if this arrangement were applied to the present financial situation in Ireland may be seen from the following table.
SCHEME C (BASED ON BILL OF 1893, AS AMENDED).
REVENUE. L EXPENDITURE L
2,866,000 1. Civil Government 2. Excise
(ex. licence Charges
duties) 2,952,000 2. Constabulary (2/3rds
3. Stamps 333,000 of L1,464,000) 976,000 4. Death duties 914,000 3. Estimated deficit on 5. Licence duties 284,000 Postal Services 249,000 6. Income Tax 1,307,000 7. Crown Lands, etc. 25,000
8. 2/3rds of L8,965,000 5,757,000
9. Miscellaneous Receipts
Total 8,177,000 Total 8,177,000