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NEWPORT POST TABLE.

TO CORRESPONDENTS.

TRADE AND REVENUE.

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TRADE AND REVENUE. To those who take a morbid pleasure in making the worst of everything, and especially to those who have factious motives for putting the worst possible construction upon the state of public affairs, the returns just issued are not without some features, upon which their ingenuity may fasten. To fair and impartial men, however, they present quite as good an aspect as could have been expected. The ac- counts of exports and imports are as favourable as the various circumstances inimical to prosperity, gave any warrant for expecting. Taking the quarter's revenue, the decrease upon the Customs is more than £300,000; but this is entirely ac- counted for by measures beneficial to the mass of the public; viz., the reduction of the corn duties to a nominal amount, and the lowering of the duty on sugar. The decrease of more than £450,000 upon the Excise shews to some extent how much privation of accustomed comforts there has been (as we have often observed), not only amongst the poor, but amongst persons in a better condi- tion of life. But an examination of the details will prove that there has been some amelioration in this respect; much of this diminution having obviously arisen from special causes. Thus the kindness of the government in allowing a postponement of the payment of the hop dutv, accounts for a deduction of 110 less than £ 180,000, which, however, will appear in a future return. A London contemporary calculates that the diminution in the malt duties, arising from the unfitness of the last barley crop for brewing purposes, is not less than £200,000. This may be so; but it only confirms what we have said as to the diminished purchasing power of certain classes of the community since in a more flou- rishing state of things, demand would have procured sup- ply, even by extraordinary means and at an enhanced price. It is also estimated that the warehousing system, under which the duties on spirits are not paid until they enter into consumption, has affected this quarter's income to the extent of £20,000. If so, this amount, like that of the hop duties, is only postponed, not lost. Of the in- crease of £44,000 in the property-tax, it is fair to remark that the return for the corresponding quarter was unu- sually low, being greatly affected by the disasters of 1847: still, looking at the mode in which this tax is imposed, the improvement is greater than might have been antici- pated. The net increase in taxes is £20,000, which is not amiss. The increase of jC60,000 in the Post-office is, to a considerable extent, only apparent; the correspond- ing quarter having been charged with some extraordi- nary payments. It must, however, be recollected that the Post-office authorities are continually increasing the facilities of communication, and necessarily, therefore, the cost of management; but these facilities not only in- crease the convenience of the public, but often enable commercial men to save some money as well. Taking into consideration all these circumstances, and recollect- ing what the state of the country and of its foreign rela- tions hwa been, there is no ground for despondency in the apparently large diminution of £493,000 on the ordinary revenue which the quarterly tables exhibit; more parti- cularly when it is borne in mind that the expenditure has, at length, been also reduced. Looking at the accounts for the year, we will not exult over the large increase of je921,000 in Customs duties, knowing how much of it has arisen from corn, which (to the joy of the poor), will not be levied again. On the other hand, we are not alarmed by the great decrease of £345,000 in stamps; part of this has arisen from the ceasing of much unhealthy speculation and part of it, and of the falling off of £60,000 in the Excise, from the general depression of trade. But it is satisfactory to know that trade is steadily, though slowly improving; and much of the diminution in the Excise, arises from causes to which we have already adverted. The other yearly items shew an increase; and the net augmentation of £668,000 in the ordinary revenue, if it be not matter of very great congratulation, may at all events be re- garded as some set off against the quarter's decrease. We believe that trade will continue to improve, not- withstanding the limitation of our foreign commerce by continental troubles; and that improvement would be augmented, by a further reduction"of the national taxa- t.on.

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