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Grand Jury Cess,
Poor Rate
Town Taxes,
Belfast Water Rate,
Rutland Square Tax,
Dublin Police Taxes,
Dublin Port and Docks Board Taxes,





I exclude from these the Belfast water rate, the Rutland Square tax, and the Dublin Port and Dock Board taxes, because I do not think that they can fairly be considered to be public burdens. I have then left the sum of £2,908,588. I still doubt whether certain other small items should not be added to or subtracted from this, but the error introduced by any such mistake will be very small. Unfortunately the method I have used for England and Scotland is not applicable here, because there is no report on local taxation corresponding to Sir H. Fowler's for England. I must, therefore, content myself with a mere guess. In the case of both England and Scotland I have found that something between one-fifth and one-sixth of the total rates are borne by the working classes. I shall assume that one-fifth of the Irish rates fell on the working class.

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My summary for local public burdens, that is to say rates, is then as follows:

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That is to say, that out of about 39 millions raised by local taxation, the working class pays rather under £7,300,000, or three-sixteenths, and the upper and middle classes rather under £31,600,000, or thirteen-sixteenths. The taxation of the two classes per head is in the ratio 1:10.

It must never be forgotten that the probable error of these estimates for local taxation is extremely large and that consequently the results have very little value.

Finally, adding together my results for imperial and local public burdens (for I assume that I can do this without introducing any very fatal error, though the years are not the same) we obtain:

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That is, out of nearly 12634 millions of public burdens, the working class pays about 4112 millions, or rather less than one-third; the upper and middle classes about 8574 millions, or rather more than two-thirds. The total taxation of the two classes per head is, then, in the ratio 5:24.

I now propose to estimate the actual burden per head. This clearly cannot be done at all accurately, because my estimate of the total burden is probably very inaccurate. I have, therefore, not taken very special trouble about this part of the work, and have taken as my estimate of the population at the beginning of 1895 the official estimate of the population for 1895. There are two objections to using these figures. In the first place, they are the estimates for the middle of the year 1895, instead of the beginning; in the second place, they are "official,” that is to say, estimated upon an untrue hypothesis for England and Scotland. The errors, however, that will be introduced by using these figures will be slight, compared to the error in my estimate of the total burden.

The total population of the United Kingdom in 1895 was estimated at 39,124,496, taking 70% of these persons to belong to the working class, we have:

Working class,
Upper and Middle classes,




On this basis the imperial public burden per head is as follows:

Working class, .
Upper and Middle classes,
Whole population,

£ s. d. I 5 0 4 II 6 2 4 II

For the local public burden I must, of course, take the population for 1894; from this we get: Working class,

27,150,000 Other classes,




On this basis the local public burdens per head are as follows:

£ s. Working class, .

5 4 Upper and Middle classes,

2 14 4 Whole population, .

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The total public burden per head per annum, both imperial and local, is then:

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Perhaps a better idea of the weight of taxation is given if we consider the burden per family, rather than per head. If we assume that on the average there are five persons to a family, we can state the results as follows:



Working class. Other classes. Whole population.
£ s. d.
£ s. d.

£ S. d.
6 5 O
22 17 6

II 4 7

13 II

5 O
7 II


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36 9

16 4 7


In conclusion, I wish distinctly to say that the above figures are very doubtful, but in the present state of our statistical information I doubt whether we can get much better ones. I think, however, that they give us a sufficiently good guess at the incidence to enable us to proceed to the second question: "Is the system of taxation which leads to the above results a fair one?” This I must leave to the individual judgments of my readers.

C. P. SANGER. London, England.

5% lbs.

Note.—The following estimate derived from the figures given above may indicate from another point of view how far my figures are prima facie reasonable. Calculated average consumption per head in the working classes to roughly correspond with my estimates.

Per head per annum.

29% gallons.
Spirits (excise),

78 proof gallon.
Spirits (imported),

proof gallon.
Cocoa, etc.,
Figs, prunes, raisins, etc.,

& lb.

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123 lbs.



HE countries of Europe with poor money now are those

that have either silver or paper money as a medium of exchange, whether or not the paper is convertible into silver. On the whole, if the calculations of Probyn are accurate, there are countries with a population of 715 millions that have such monetary systems. But, it is understood, they make up the countries lowest in economic development; they are either India or China, or some of the Latin countries of Europe, or some of the South American republics.

On the other hand, the economic market is undoubtedly ruled by those countries, with a population of 360 millions, that have either a gold currency or a paper currency convertible into gold. If the economic crisis undergone by Russia in 1892 had been undergone by England, the effect on the economic market of the world would undoubtedly have been much more serious. In fact, such was the case with the bankruptcy of the firm of Baring Brothers, and its evil consequences are still felt all over Europe. And, inasmuch as some economic markets rule others, this bankruptcy had great effect on the money market of Europe. Gold money rules absolutely over silver money, and is practically the only effective one.

In a busy market the existence at par of two currencies so widely different is incompatible: one drives out the other, and remains the only real money of that economic market, and by such money all prices are determined. In countries where the double standard is in vogue, one of the metals has always ruled the other, and the two coined metals have never constituted an indivisible whole, as bimetallists claim. These two media of exchange

1 Translated from the Italian by Mr. Anthony Spinello of New Haven, Conn.

? Leslie C. Probyn, Gold and Silver and World's Monies, Bankers' Magazine (London), March, 1895, p. 345.

3 Edward Atkinson, The Philosophy of Money, The Monist, April, 1896, Vol. vi, p. 347.


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