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Finance—Past and Expected

The Illustrated London News, vol. 38, no. 1082, p. 304.

April 6, 1861

FINANCE-PAST AND EXPECTED.

. . . . Again, no man in this country, even if he dwell ever so remote from Lancashire, can view without apprehension the situation of the American States and their relation to our manufacturing interests. It is in the face of ominous and threatening conjunctures like these that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has had to frame his financial scheme for the coming year. It is impossible to suppose that he can pursue any other course than that of the most careful adaptation of his scheme to the patent exigencies of the moment. There is, therefore, no expectation of an experimental Budget; but, looking to the Estimates which have been already under discussion in Parliament, it is not easy to see how the proposed expenditure is to be met without recourse being had to some mutations, if not exactly to what a Finance Minister would call an increase, of taxation. What we mean to intimate is that there is just a possibility of a reduction in the tea and sugar duties, and a resort to the sweet simplicity of a shilling in the pound income tax. How such a specimen of presdigitation [sic] on the part of a Chancellor of the Exchequer would be received by the British public it is not for us to say. One thing is clear, that, looking to the uncertainty of affairs abroad and to the estimated expenditure at home, the taxpayer must not hope for any actual relief from burdens, although, perhaps, there may be some clever manipulations in the way of shifting the load.

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