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Editorial – The Price of Survival

12 April 1941

Mexborough & Swinton Times – Saturday 12 April 1941

The Price of Survival

The first full war Budget presents us with a sombre but striking picture of the huge financial task before us.

To carry on the war at its present height for another year the Government must take a third of our income, borrow another third, and for the rest must look for accommodation to the United States and the Empire.

Income tax is advanced to ten shillings in the pound and two million more income-tax payers are brought in.

Sir Kingsley Wood has wasted no time on indirect taxation. It is not our threepence in the shilling that he wants, but the whole shilling, and he has taken the short way to get it.

Draconic fiscal measures are demanded it we are to avoid the catastrophe of inflation, and Mr. Churchill has had the courage and common sense to order them. We must give and lend as cheerfully as those boys of the R.A.F. gave for us all they had in the Battle of Britain.

Some of the extra taxation is in the nature of forced loans, a fiscal novelty in our time.

Reluctantly the Government has adopted the Keynes plan of earmarking taxes for return to us after the war. This policy is intended to counter inflation.

A corresponding concession has also been made to industry and to capital by the promise of a return of Excess Profits Tax which will stand at 100 per cent. until after the war, when manufacturers may expect return of a fifth of this taxation to assist post-war industrial reconstruction.

The Budget ensures, as far as it can, the diversion to war effort of all we have. Until the war has been won, we must be content with essentials and deny ourselves all luxury, comfort, or service that may cost money or effort required for the supreme task. It represents the cost of survival and the price of victory.

Remembering the fate of France, and of all who have shirked sacrifice in this supreme test, let us gladly and proudly pay it.