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THE BUDGET. IN nnother column we give a full abstract of a speech which, in many respects, is the most important of the session, for the speech of the Chancellor of the Exchequer not only gives us an accurate account of the financial position of the country, but deals with the taxation of the coming year, a matter which deeply affects us all. The Budget which Mr. Lowe brought for- ward on Monday night does not fulfil the ex- aggerated expectations of a large portion of the public; but on the whole, it must be admitted to be a most favourable and encouraging state- ment. The revenue for the year 1869-70, after considerable reductions had been decided on, was estimated at £73,515,000. The actual receipts have exceeded this amount by £] ,819,000. For the year 1870-1 Mr. Lowe has, very happily a surplus of no less than f 4,297,000 to deal with, and we think that, whatever opinion may be entertained about particular items, the entire Budget scheme founded on this surplus will he generally satisfactory to the country. The Chancellor of the Exchequer proposes to abolish the game licence duty, and impose a new excise licence duty of £1 for carrying firearms; to allow the steaming of barley for the feeding of cattle; to abolish the taxes on soap-makers, paper-makers, and watch-case makers; to re- move certain duties and taxes on stamps and deeds; to equalise the duty on foreign and English bills; to abolish the impressed stamp on newspapers; to reduce the postage on news- papers weighing less than six ounces to one halfpenny; to alter the 5 per cent. railway pas- senger duty to 1 per cent.; to reduce the ipcome- tax to 4d.; to reduce the duty on sugar one half; and to abolish a number of small duties, such as those on hawkers and hail-storm and insurance duties. After having done all this, Mr. Lowe still has a surplus of jE331,000 to carry forward. The Budget, it will thus be seen, contains no glorious surprise; it is not a remarkable or striking scheme; but it deals with a number of interests, and does a great deal towards free and unhampered trading. In fact, it abolishes a good deal of that Government interference with trade which has always been found so injurious; and, on the whole, we cannot but regard it as a sound and judicious, if not a brilliant Budget ♦


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