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Joint Committee on the Cost of Living, Vol. 1

Joint Committee on the Cost of Living, Vol. 1

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Excerpt from Joint Committee on the Cost of Living, Vol. 1: Second Interim Report, Taxation and the Cost of Living

We devoted our first report to a consideration of the general causes of the rise in the general level of prices. Before proceeding to a detailed discussion of the many causes contributing to the high cost of living, we have thought it desirable to prepare an Interim Eeport on Taxation, which has an important bearing on the subject of our inquiry.

It is necessary in the first place to examine in some detail the present financial situation of the country:

The National Revenue.

The position of the nation's finances can be best understood by an analysis of the Imperial revenue and expenditure since 1913-14 down to the present time. The following table shows the sources of the national revenue during the past eight years. Direct taxes include property and income tax, super-tax, estate duties, land tax and duties on land values, house duty, and stamp duties (other than those on fee and patent stamps). The indirect taxes are those obtained from customs and excise duties. Receipts from the Excess Profits Duty, which has contributed substantially to the revenue, are dealt with separately. The non-tax revenue comprises receipts from, the postal, telegraph, and telephone services, Crown lands, Suez Canal shares, and sundry loans. The item of miscellaneous receipts includes fee and patent stamps and receipts by Civil Departments. These figures are swollen in the later years by the sale of war stores. The sums derived from the disposal of Government property ought not, of course, to be regarded as current income. They should have been devoted to debt reduction.

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