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BUDGET BULL'S-EYES. I (FROM THE BUDGET LEAGUE.) The greatest need for the Budget is shown in relation to the valuation clauses. Il; is these more than any other which rouse the ire of the opponents of the measure. The Marquess of Bute's solicitors are very much disturbed because the Chan- cellor of the Exchequer was guilty of some slight inaccuracy in reference to the proxi- mity of the Cardiff "tailor's shop" to Car- dilf Castle. < < < In their anxiety to prove that there was actually a distance of less than a quarter of a mile separating the two these excellent lawyers failed to note the real point of Mr. Lloyd George's illustration. The whole value of presenting this and similar facts to the public lies in the application and not in the instances themselves. What is their application? It is that :1, large portion of a very valuable property escapes rates at the present time, while other people in the iifimediate neighbou r- h,xd are paying large sums in order to in- crease the value of the very property which succeeds in avoiding such contributions. Alongside Cardiff Castle immediately ad- jacent lies Cathays Park, which is even a better example of the way in which the castle escapes contributions to the rltes. I't. is not very long since the Cardiff Corpora- .1 tion purchased Cathays Park, paying E160,000 for the privilege. Surely the Marquess of Bute wilL not say that he sold the estate at too high a figure. Taking E160,000 as the capital value, the annual rateable value must have been somewhere in the neighbourhood of £ 5,000 or £6,000, but the assessment on the rate- book, prior to the sale, was only J5255. The land, however, was used entirely for agricultural purposes, and thus the owners escaped by paying only half the rates. So that, in effect, the rateable value was re-, ducod to £126 10s., instead of between £5,000 and 26,000. Valuation on a proper basis, such as is proposed in the Budget, would prevent ex- ceedingly wealthy men from enjoying such privileges as are here indicated at the ex- pense of their poorer neighbours. « Canon Barnett, in a letter to a meeting addressed by Mr. Lloyd George on Decem- ber 31st last, quoted a City magnate who said, "I hate your Budget. It is a beastly Budget. But it is just." Y&,$hat is what the Budget is—Justice. » • Another instance. Justice ssys, pay in pro- portion to income. What is Iiieome? Folke- stone affords an illustration. The ..rateable value of that town in 1892 was £ 161,518. In 1910 that assessment had been in-' creased to £ 257,949, in addition to which the rates paid on that assessment were Is. lOd. in the £ higher. « The occupiers paid that money, and an iilustration of the value produced is 'given by the fact that Bouverie Lodge was let until recently at a ground rent of £ 10 a year. It was thought desirable to build shops. Immediately the. ground rent be. came E130 a year, which Lord Radnor, who owned the land, obtained from it. • « But that £ 130 a year would not have been obtainable had not the land been worth it. If the owner had been compelled to save out of his income sufficient money to buy the added Yalue-120 a year—he would have been compelled to pay Income- Tax all the time, which would have meant 5 per cent. compound interest. He had been paying nothing," and until the Budget comes into force he will not have to pay anything for the privilege cf lecuririg a very highly-increased value without working for it. The opponents of the Budget are vainly trying to make: out that land is no different from other forms of property. The fact that it amasses wealth without paying Jncorne- Tax during the period of increase is Suffi- cient proof to the contrary. Fulham provides another illustration. Within the memory of persons who are not. likely for many Iyears 'to come to obtain an Old-Age Pension, the land in that now densely-populated borough wa& valued: at B5 per acre. At twenty years' purchase this would mean a capital value of £ 100. A year or two ago a piece of land there was sold at a price equivalent to £ 3,500 an acre. With Mr. Lloyd George^ Budget in operation during the ^hole of that period the owner would still have netted, a profit of over £ 2,700, Surely the local ratepayers who, by their existence and expenditure, have increased the value'of that land are entitled to the sum of JB339 which, under the; Budget, they would receive, The nation aiso surely should j., be grudged a similar sum, which would pay twenty-five Old-Age Pensioils tor on«" year out' of the profit of that single acre.' « « Land which only yielded a few shil- lings fin rent might, in that portion of the country, be sold to yield almost as many pounds when the money was .invested in e- curities," said Lord Onslow, the principal landowner of Guildford, Speaking there on June 15th, 1909. ( If the landlords can afford to refuse to avail themselves of the opportunity of turning shillings into pounds by a nc-re stroke of the pen, surely they can r.fiord k> pay a halfpenny in the B by way of unde- veloped land duty for the enjoyment cf what, seems to them to be a valuable privilege. ? One object of the Budget is to enable others to share in the privilege of living on the land. By fixing definitely in a new Domesday Book the value of all land, 't will be impossible in future for landlords to fix an exorbitant price whenever it is de- sired to secure a parcel of land for smail holdings. Earl Carrington's Act of 1908 had up 1. the middle of December, 1909, provided 65,000 acres for small holdings. But much more would have been obtained had it been possible to buy at a figure commensurate with the present value. # » Landowners have so frequently said that land required for small holdings had an annual value of three times the present rental or more that the authorities could not purchase, because it would be impos- sible to let to small holders at a price 1 which they could afford to pay. < It will not be long before we prevent the present residents in the country from rush- ing to the towns, and at the same time changing the movement of the population so that it will flow from the town back again to the land, and thus deal with the problem in the only effectual manner.