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Posts Tagged ‘David Lloyd George’

….Now, what is going to happen in the future? In future those landlords will have to contribute to the taxation of the country on the basis of the real value – only one halfpenny in the pound! Only a halfpenny! And that is what all the howling is about. But there is another little tax called the increment tax. For the future what will happen? We mean to value all the land in the kingdom. And here you can draw no distinction between agricultural land and other land, for the simple reason that East and West Ham was agricultural land a few years ago! And if land goes up in the future by hundreds and thousands an acre through the efforts of the community, the community will get 20 per cent. of that increment. Ah! What a misfortune it is that there was not a Chancellor of the Exchequer who did this thirty years ago. Only thirty years ago, and we should now be enjoying an abundant revenue from this source.

Now I have given you West Ham. Let me give you a few more cases. Take cases like Golders Green and other cases of similar kind where the value of land has gone up in the course, perhaps, of a couple of years through a new tramway or a new railway being opened. Golders Green is a case in point. A few years ago there was a plot of land there which was sold at £160. Last year I went and opened a Tube railway there.

What was the result? This year that very piece of land has been sold for £2,100 – £160 before the railway was opened – before I was there – £2,100 now. I am entitled to 20 per cent. Now there are many cases where landlords take advantage of the exigencies of commerce and of industry – take advantage of the needs of municipalities and even of national needs and of the monopoly which they have got in land in a particular neighbourhood in order to demand extortionate prices. Take the very well known case of the Duke of Northumberland when a County Council wanted to buy a small plot of land as a site for a school to train the children, who in due course would become the men labouring on his property. The rent was quite an insignificant thing.
His contribution to the rates – I forget – I think it was on the basis of 30s. an acre. What did he demand for it for a school? £900 an acre. All we say is this – Mr Buxton and I say – if it is worth £900, let him pay taxes on £900…’
Rothschild was incensed and resisted the move to tax but in the end had to accept the inevitable.
The Sun Sets over the Peers
Finally, the whole controversy over the budget and the Parliament Act contributed powerfully to the steady decline of the House of Lords and the peerage in the British system of government. In 1911 the Conservatives claimed that Asquith had virtually created one-chamber government and they therefore promised a complete reform of the composition as well as the powers of the upper chamber which would have involved some modification of the hereditary principle. Indeed, as the preamble to the Act indicated, even the Liberals regarded their reform as an interim measure not a final solution. Yet, significantly the Tory leaders failed to redeem their promise despite rank and file pressure to do so even during the inter-war period. Tacitly they accepted the marginalisation of the House of Lords and, thus, of peers in general. This was underlined in 1923 when, following the resignation of the Conservative prime minister, Andrew Bonar Law, the obvious successor, Lord Curzon, was turned down because of his membership of the upper house. Never again would a peer become prime minister, though in 1963 Lord Home achieved the impossible by renouncing his peerage and returning to the House of Commons.
Financial and Social Consequences of the Budget
Finally, it remains to assess the long-term significance of the budget for British national finance. This can best be done by looking back into the Victorian period and forward into the twentieth century. It is sobering to think that since its introduction to cope with the costs of the French Revolutionary wars the income tax had been regarded as a temporary expedient. As late as the 1870s Gladstone had proposed to abolish it. He never quite succeeded, and in the 1880s and 1890s the rate rose to eight (old) pence in the pound. By 1914 Lloyd George had pushed the standard rate up to one shilling and four pence. By the end of the First World War it stood at six shillings. During the 1920s and 1930s despite enormous political pressure, income tax was only modestly reduced to four shillings. In short, all governments came to rely heavily on income tax as the central element in national finance. Even the government of Mrs Thatcher managed totrim income tax only to 25 (new) pence, equivalent to five shillings, which was historically a high rate.
The only aspect of the 1909 budget which failed to survive was Lloyd George’s famous land taxes. The laborious process of land valuation went ahead up to 1914. But during the war his involvement in the coalition government put the whole enterprise in jeopardy. Although Lloyd George remained prime minister until 1922 he was too dependent on his Conservative colleagues to resurrect the land taxes; by 1920 they had been abandoned.
In spite of this setback, the social consequences of the Edwardian reforms were enduring. The effect of a graduated system of taxation combined with social welfare measures was to begin the process of redistributing national income from the rich to the poor, albeit slightly. This process continued in each succeeding decade regardless of changing circumstances and political parties. Not until after 1979 was the trend finally checked by reductions in taxation for very high earners and a shift to taxes on consumption paid by the poor and those on average incomes. (www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~semp/budget.htm)
benny

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In an address to an overflow meeting in an adjacent hall, Lloyd George defiantly declared that amendments proposed by the Lords to the Finance Bill would not be accepted. The speech was well received by his audience and by Liberal supporters throughout the country. Predictably, it provoked wrathful protests from the Unionists, and also from the King; three days later Prime Minister Asquith found King Edward VII in a state of ‘great agitation and annoyance in consequence of [Lloyd George's] Limehouse speech. I have never known him more irritated, or more difficult to appease, though I did my best’.

In preparing his Limehouse speech, Lloyd George had two principal aims: to demonstrate the justice and fairness of his Budget proposals, and to warn the Unionists of their potential vulnerability should they reject it. Limehouse itself did not cause rejection of the People’s Budget, but it did strengthen the antagonism of those already opposed to it. Its rejection by the House of Lords led to a constitutional crisis and two general elections in 1910.

J. Graham Jones
Excerpts

“…..It is rather a shame for a rich country like ours – probably the richest in the world, if not the richest the world has ever seen, that it should allow those who have toiled all their days to end in penury and possibly starvation. It is rather hard that an old workman should have to find his way to the gates of the tomb, bleeding and footsore, through the brambles and thorns of poverty. We cut a new path for him, an easier one, a pleasanter one, through fields of waving corn. We are raising money to pay for the new road, aye, and to widen it, so that 200,000 paupers shall be able to join in the march. There are so many in the country blessed by Providence with great wealth, and if there are amongst them men who grudge out of their riches a fair contribution towards the less fortunate of their fellow-countrymen they are very shabby rich men. We propose to do more by means of the Budget. We are raising money to provide against the evils and the sufferings that follow from unemployment. We are raising money for the purpose of assisting our great friendly societies to provide for the sick and the widows and orphans. We are providing money to enable us to develop the resources of our own land. I do not believe any fair-minded man would challenge the justice and the fairness of the objects which we have in view in raising this money.

But there are some of them who say, ‘The taxes themselves are unjust, unfair, unequal, oppressive notably so the land taxes’. They are engaged, not merely in the House of Commons, but outside the House of Commons, in assailing these taxes with a concentrated and sustained ferocity which will not allow even a comma to escape with its life. Now, are these taxes really so wicked? Let us examine them…
…Let us take first of all the tax on undeveloped land and on increment.
Not far from here, not so many years ago, between the Lea and the Thames you had hundreds of acres of land which was not very useful even for agricultural purposes. In the main it was a sodden marsh. The commerce and the trade of London increased under Free Trade, the tonnage of your shipping went up by hundreds of thousands of tons and by millions; labour was attracted from all parts of the country to cope with all this trade and business which was done here. What happened? There was no housing accommodation. This Port of London became overcrowded, and the population overflowed. That was the opportunity of the owners of the marsh. All that land became valuable building land, and land which used to be rented at £2 or £3 an acre has been selling within the last few years at £2,000 an acre, £3,000 an acre, £6,000 an acre, £8,000 an acre. Who created that increment? Who made that golden swamp? Was it the landlord? Was it his energy? Was it his brains – a very bad look out for the place if it were – his forethought? It was purely the combined efforts of all the people engaged in the trade and commerce of the Port of London – trader, merchant, shipowner, dock labourer, workman, everybody except the landlord. Now, you follow that transaction. Land worth £2 or £3 an acre running up to thousands. ( To be Cont’d)

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Soul of man gives him a taste of truth. But does he take it seriously? To Everyman truth invariably presents itself in everyday things. Also in his daily interaction with others. No matter what his soul is it is the only article he has to rely upon. For better or worse.

The only Welshman ever to hold the office of Prime Minister of the British government never dreamt he would go that far. But David Lloyd George despite his straitened circumstances and in Llanystumdwy, North Wales  found all that necessary to equip himself for that highest post. Of course such a rise came in degrees. His uncle Richard, a master cobbler and later a lay Baptist preacher was a strong Liberal who encouraged him to take up a career in law and enter politics. A great deal of his self-confidence came from having been brought up by one who trusted in his abilities and provided a good role model. One day while sitting on the branch of a tree young David in a flash saw he was someone special. Soul gives such flashes of intuitive understanding and it without exception is couched in Truth. Spirit of man however must tap on the spirit of the times and know how to negotiate with those who are all competing with him.

For those who take their cues from the Scriptures, the soul works more or less in similar fashion. Soul looks at Truth through the window of words. Certain passages are signposts and comfort or warning in the verses at times come with far greater force that one who is spiritually tuned to the Word cannot miss them.

2.

If our soul is adequate to lead us to Truth why some seek signs and wonders? In Jesus’ time also such curious folks did exist and they followed Jesus but not for knowing Truth. (Jn 4:48). Fellowship of saints or believers do have great power when each soul is a free agent. In the day of Pentecost those who heard Peter and other apostles knew Truth was at the heart of the extraordinary event. Their souls did vouch for that. We read that they didn’t ask for a replay or another miracle. ‘Men and brethren what shall we do?’ They asked and  submitted themselves to the promise the Word held out to them.

John was a cousin of Jesus. John in his time did no miracle or toadied to the shallow whims of his audience. Of him Jesus said he was the greatest born of women. (Mt.11:11) Since a Christian is born of Word, Spirit and Water he is born again. He is raised up to the heavenly places (Eph. 2:4-6) and his Soul as such does not need silly tricks we see some preachers employ to finance their rich life style. These false preachers succeed with those who hold their souls in light esteem.

Tailpiece: there is no magic bullet that can demolish your disbelief than your own soul. benny

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