§ I have come to the end of the proposals, and proceed to make up my final balance sheet of estimated Revenue and Expenditure for the current year. On the existing basis of taxation the Revenue amounts to £272,110,000. New taxation amounts in the present year to £30,924,000, and revenue 363 from postal changes £1,980,000, making a total of £305,014,000, or, in round figures, £305,000,000. The estimated Expenditure is £1,590,000,000, and the deficit for the year is accordingly £1,285,000,000. This is the balance sheet for the current year. Last year the realised deficit was £334,000,000, giving an estimated combined deficit for the two years of £1,619,000,000. In arriving at the total of anticipated national indebtedness on the 31st March next, we must add to the figure I have just given the amount of the pre-War debt, with an allowance for the effects of conversion and for loss on stock issued at a discount. These calculations, for which full data are not yet available, lead me to the estimate which I have already given, of £2,200,000,000 as the total of our Dead Weight Debt at the close of the financial year.
§ 5.0 P.M.
§ We shall face the new financial year with a Dead Weight Debt of £2,200,000,000 and an Estimated Revenue of £387,000,000. We shall have trebled our Debt and doubled our Taxes; a heavy liability and an immense charge. We have sought in these proposals to make a due allocation of the burden between the present and the future, and in devising new taxation to have careful regard to the distribution of the taxes according to ability to pay. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister reminds me that in giving the total Dead Weight Debt of £2,200,000,000 I have made no allowance for repayment of advances which we are now making. That is an estimate difficult to form. I merely mention the fact that there is that relief in prospect, but I cannot give any figures in regard to it. As I have already explained to the Committee, if the War continues then these proposals cannot be our last word. Our greatest resource is in the continued willingness of the whole people to pay their share. If the House assents to this Budget, I feel that we shall have gone some way to solve the problem of raising immediate Revenue without impairing the resources on which we have to rely for future loans. The burden of increased 364 taxation must rest upon us. The charge of debt must be increased. If we are willing to bear the burden, or as I would rather say, as we are willing to bear the burden, we shall be able to do so. We must have regard to economy. We must cut down our individual consumption. We must leave our capital and labour free to devote themselves in as great a measure as possible to the mere service of the War. We accept the burdens of taxation, partly because they limit our power to consume, and great though the burdens are which we now ask this House to accept, I have no fear but that, subject to criticism, I shall find the House able and willing to accept the task.