Local Taxation In London - BY M. E. LANGE -1906 - PREFACE. - MR. LANGE does good service in calling attention to the rating reforms which the cause of good government in London urgently demands. He justly draws the important distinction between a rich city and a city in which there are many rich citizens. Nothing has done greater injury to the cause of good and efficient government than the confusion of these two definitions, whether in relation to the financial administration of the State in general or of London in particular. Mr. Booth and Mr. Rowntree have shown that poverty is so prevalent, that the percentage of the population unable to adequately house, feed and clothe themselves and their families is so great, that the United Kingdom may not inaccurately be described as a poor country. The governing cIasses themselves in amuence, and misled by the assertions so often made in Parliament and in the press as to the wealth of the country, regard lightly the burthen of taxes and rates. Increase of taxation affects little their afluence. They would not consume a loaf, a pound of tea or a pound of sugar the less, if a protective duty were placed upon corn, or if the taxes on articles of consumption were raised. They are unabIe, or they refuse to realise the effect of increased food taxation on the scanty budgets of the poor how an addition of 2, 3, or 4 to the bare cost of living cripples men who have to support their families on incomes of 50, 60, or 70 a year. This indifference is shown in the highest quarters. Conservative Chancellors of the Exchequer, parties to an enorinous and wasteful public expenditure, argue that it must be met by widening the basis of taxation, a mischievous euphemism invented to veil the true meaning of the...............
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