Non Sequitur no. 88

Gladstone booted from office

Gladstone booted from office

In 1859 William Gladstone became Chancellor of the Exchequer (Liberal Party). In the following year rather than abolish income tax as was widely expected, Gladstone proposed to increase it and abolish duties on paper. The duty on paper was a very controversial issue because the duty was the cause of highly inflated costs of publishing that was preventing the spreading of radical working-class ideas. The duties bill narrowly passed in the Commons but was defeated in the House of Lords. The refusal of a money bill had not occured for 200 years and caused quite a commotion. In the following year (1861) Gladstone packaged the abolition of paper duties together with other financial measures in what was termed the Finance bill. Thus, financial measures would now be accepted or refused as a whole. In fact, Gladstone had inadvertently (or rather unwittingly) invented the modern-day budget.

During the Budget speech of 2008, Minister Tonio Fenech made no mention of the new utilities surcharge. In a reversal of the situation in the mother of all budgets years previously, an unpopular financial measure was not included in the “Finance Bill”.

One response to “Non Sequitur no. 88

  1. I don’t think it was just the 2008 budget – the PN has done it before.

    The Labour Govs used to be criticised (and rightly so) for including the price of tinned tuna in the budget.

    The PN has gone to the other extreme – ignoring “tsunamis” like the tariff increases in the budget speech.

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