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merce. Fourth, Taxes that are hurtful to manufactures and commerce, without increasing the public revenue. Fifth, Taxes that are hurtful to manufactures and commerce; and also lefsen the public revenue. I proceed to instances of each kind, drawn chiefly from British taxes.
Our land-tax is an illustrious instance of the first kind : it produces a revenue to the public, levied with very little expence : and it hurts no mortal ; for a landholder who pays for having himself and his estate protected, cannot be said to be hurt. The duty on coaches is of the same kind. Both taxes, at the same time, are agreeable to found principles. Men ought to contribute to the public revenue, as far as they are benefited by being protected : a rich man requires protection for his poffeffions, as well as for his perfon, and therefore ought to contribute largely : a poor man requires protection for his person only, and therefore ought to contribute little.
A tax on foreign luxuries is an instance of the fecond kind. It increases the public revenue : and it greatly benefits individuals : not only by restraining the confumption of foreign luxuries, but by en
couraging our own manufactures. Britain enjoys a monopoly of coal exported to Holland ; and the duty on exportation is agreeable to sound policy, being paid by the Dutch: This duty is another instance of the second kind: it raises a considerable revenue to the public; and it enables us to cope with the Dutch in every manufacture that employs coal, such as dying, di. stilling, works of glass and of iron. And these manufactures in Britain, by the dearness of labour, are entitled to some aid. A tax on horses, to prevent their increase, would be a tax of the same kind. The incredible number of horses used in coaches and other wheel-carriages, has raised the price of labour, by doubling the price of oat-meal, the food of the labouring poor in many parts of Britain. The price of wheat is also raised by the same means ; because the vast quantity of land employed in producing oats, leffens the quantity for wheat. I would not exempt even plough-horses from the tax ; because in every view it is more advantageous to use oxen *. So little regard is paid to VOL. II. 3E
• They are preferable for husbandry in several
these considerations, that a coach, whether drawn by two horses or by fix, pays the fame duty.
As to the third kind, our forefathers feem to have had no notion of taxes but for
refpes. They are cheaper than horses : their food, their barness, their shoes, the attendance on them, much less expensive ; and their dung much better for land. Horses are more subject to diseases ; and when diseased or old are totally useless : a fock for a farm must be renewed at least every ten years ; whereas a stock of oxen may be kept entire forever without any new expence, as they will always draw a full price when fatted for food. Nor is a horse more docile than an ox: a couple of oxen in a plough require not a driver more than a couple of horses. The Dutch at the Cape of Good Hope plough with oxen ; and exer. cife them early to a quick pace, so as to equal horfes both in the plough and in the waggon. The people of Malabar use no other animal for the plough nor for burdens. About Pondicherry no beasts of burden are to be seen but oxen. The Greeks and Romans anciently used no beasts in the plough but oxen. The vast increase of horses of late years for luxury as well as for draught, makes a great consumption of oats. If in husbandry oxen only were used, which require no oats, many thousand acres would be saved for wheat and barley. But the advantages of oxen would not be confined to the farmer. Beef would be much cheaper to the manufacturer, by the vast addition of fat oxen sent to market ; and the price of leather and tallow - would fall ; a national benefit, as every one uses (hoes and candles.
increasing the public revenue, without once thinking of the hurt that may be done to individuals. 'In the reign of Edward VI. a poll-tax was laid on sheep. And so late as the reign of William III, marriage was taxed. I am grieved to observe, that even to this day we have many taxes detrimental to the stare, as being more oppressive upon the people than gainful to the public revenue. Multiplied taxes on the necessaries of life, candle, soap, leather, ale, salt, &c. raise the price of labour, and consequently of manufactures. If they shall have the effect to deprive us of foreigu markets, which we have reason to dread, depopulation and poverty must ensue. The falt-tax in particular is eminently detrimental. With respect to the other taxes mentioned, the rich bear the greatest bura den, being the greatest consumers ; but the share they pay of the salt-tax is very little, because they reject sale provisions. The salt-tax is still more absurd in another respect, salt being a choice manure for land. One would be amazed to hear of a law prohibiting the use of lime as a manure : he would be still more amazed to hear of the prohibition being extended to salt, which is a manure much superior, and
yet a heavy tax on salt, which renders it too dear for a manure, surprises no man. But the mental eye resembles that of the body : it seldom perceives ceives but what is directly before it : consequences lie far out of sight. Many thousand quarters of good wheat have been annually with-held from Britain by the falt-tax. What the treasury has gained, will not compensate the fiftieth part of that loss. The absurdity of with-holding from us a manure so profitable, has at last been discovered ; and remedied in part, by permitting English foul salt to be used for manure, on paying four-pence of duty per bushel (a). Why was not Scotland permitmitted to taste of that bounty ? Our candidates, it would appear, are more solicitous of a feat in parliament, than of serving their country when they have obtained that honour. What pretext would there have been even for murmuring, had every one of them been rejected with indignation, in the choice of representatives for a new parliament ?
The window-tax is more detrimental to the people, than advantageous to the revenue. In the first place, it promotes large farms in order to save houses and
windows; (a) 8° Geo. III. cap: 25.