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The following table shows the amount of the tax on every
thousand separately, and in the last column the total amount of all the
separate sums collected.

TABLE II
An estate of:
L 50 per annum at 3d per pound pays L0 12 6
100 " " " " 1 5 0
200 " " " " 2 10 0
300 " " " " 3 15 0
400 " " " " 5 0 0
500 " " " " 7 5 0

After L500, the tax of 6d. per pound takes place on the second L500;
consequently an estate of L1,000 per annum pays L2l, 15s., and so on.

Total amount
For the 1st L500 at 0s 3d per pound L7 5s
2nd " 0 6 14 10 L21 15s
2nd 1000 at 0 9 37 11 59 5
3rd " 1 0 50 0 109 5
(Total amount)
4th 1000 at 1s 6d per pound L75 0s L184 5s
5th " 2 0 100 0 284 5
6th " 3 0 150 0 434 5
7th " 4 0 200 0 634 5
8th " 5 0 250 0 880 5
9th " 6 0 300 0 1100 5
10th " 7 0 350 0 1530 5
11th " 8 0 400 0 1930 5
12th " 9 0 450 0 2380 5
13th " 10 0 500 0 2880 5
14th " 11 0 550 0 3430 5
15th " 12 0 600 0 4030 5
16th " 13 0 650 0 4680 5
17th " 14 0 700 0 5380 5
18th " 15 0 750 0 6130 5
19th " 16 0 800 0 6930 5
20th " 17 0 850 0 7780 5
21st " 18 0 900 0 8680 5
(Total amount)
22nd 1000 at 19s 0d per pound L950 0s L9630 5s
23rd " 20 0 1000 0 10630 5

At the twenty-third thousand the tax becomes 20s. in the pound, and
consequently every thousand beyond that sum can produce no profit but by
dividing the estate. Yet formidable as this tax appears, it will not, I
believe, produce so much as the commutation tax; should it produce more,
it ought to be lowered to that amount upon estates under two or three
thousand a year.

On small and middling estates it is lighter (as it is intended to be)
than the commutation tax. It is not till after seven or eight thousand
a year that it begins to be heavy. The object is not so much the produce
of the tax as the justice of the measure. The aristocracy has screened
itself too much, and this serves to restore a part of the lost
equilibrium.

As an instance of its screening itself, it is only necessary to look
back to the first establishment of the excise laws, at what is called
the Restoration, or the coming of Charles the Second. The aristocratical
interest then in power, commuted the feudal services itself was under,
by laying a tax on beer brewed for sale; that is, they compounded with
Charles for an exemption from those services for themselves and their
heirs, by a tax to be paid by other people. The aristocracy do not
purchase beer brewed for sale, but brew their own beer free of the duty,
and if any commutation at that time were necessary, it ought to have
been at the expense of those for whom the exemptions from those services
were intended;*[37] instead of which, it was thrown on an entirely
different class of men.

But the chief object of this progressive tax (besides the justice of
rendering taxes more equal than they are) is, as already stated, to
extirpate the overgrown influence arising from the unnatural law of
primogeniture, and which is one of the principal sources of corruption
at elections.

It would be attended with no good consequences to enquire how such vast
estates as thirty, forty, or fifty thousand a year could commence, and
that at a time when commerce and manufactures were not in a state to
admit of such acquisitions. Let it be sufficient to remedy the evil by
putting them in a condition of descending again to the community by the
quiet means of apportioning them among all the heirs and heiresses of
those families. This will be the more necessary, because hitherto the
aristocracy have quartered their younger children and connections upon
the public in useless posts, places and offices, which when abolished
will leave them destitute, unless the law of primogeniture be also
abolished or superseded.

A progressive tax will, in a great measure, effect this object, and that
as a matter of interest to the parties most immediately concerned, as
will be seen by the following table; which shows the net produce upon
every estate, after subtracting the tax. By this it will appear that
after an estate exceeds thirteen or fourteen thousand a year, the
remainder produces but little profit to the holder, and consequently,
Will pass either to the younger children, or to other kindred.

TABLE III
Showing the net produce of every estate from one thousand
to twenty-three thousand pounds a year

No of thousand Total tax
per annum subtracted Net produce
L1000 L21 L979
2000 59 1941
3000 109 2891
4000 184 3816
5000 284 4716
6000 434 5566
7000 634 6366
8000 880 7120
9000 1100 7900
10,000 1530 8470
11,000 1930 9070
12,000 2380 9620
13,000 2880 10,120
(No of thousand (Total tax
per annum) subtracted) (Net produce)
14,000 3430 10,570
15,000 4030 10,970
16,000 4680 11,320
17,000 5380 11,620
18,000 6130 11,870
19,000 6930 12,170
20,000 7780 12,220
21,000 8680 12,320
22,000 9630 12,370
23,000 10,630 12,370

N.B. The odd shillings are dropped in this table.

According to this table, an estate cannot produce more than L12,370
clear of the land tax and the progressive tax, and therefore the
dividing such estates will follow as a matter of family interest. An
estate of L23,000 a year, divided into five estates of four thousand
each and one of three, will be charged only L1,129 which is but five per
cent., but if held by one possessor, will be charged L10,630.

Although an enquiry into the origin of those estates be unnecessary, the
continuation of them in their present state is another subject. It is a
matter of national concern. As hereditary estates, the law has created
the evil, and it ought also to provide the remedy. Primogeniture ought
to be abolished, not only because it is unnatural and unjust, but
because the country suffers by its operation. By cutting off (as before
observed) the younger children from their proper portion of inheritance,
the public is loaded with the expense of maintaining them; and the
freedom of elections violated by the overbearing influence which
this unjust monopoly of family property produces. Nor is this all. It
occasions a waste of national property. A considerable part of the land
of the country is rendered unproductive, by the great extent of parks
and chases which this law serves to keep up, and this at a time when
the annual production of grain is not equal to the national
consumption.*[38]--In short, the evils of the aristocratical system are
so great and numerous, so inconsistent with every thing that is just,
wise, natural, and beneficent, that when they are considered, there
ought not to be a doubt that many, who are now classed under that
description, will wish to see such a system abolished.

What pleasure can they derive from contemplating the exposed
condition, and almost certain beggary of their younger offspring? Every
aristocratical family has an appendage of family beggars hanging round
it, which in a few ages, or a few generations, are shook off, and
console themselves with telling their tale in almshouses, workhouses,
and prisons. This is the natural consequence of aristocracy. The peer
and the beggar are often of the same family. One extreme produces the
other: to make one rich many must be made poor; neither can the system
be supported by other means.

There are two classes of people to whom the laws of England are
particularly hostile, and those the most helpless; younger children,
and the poor. Of the former I have just spoken; of the latter I shall
mention one instance out of the many that might be produced, and with
which I shall close this subject.

Several laws are in existence for regulating and limiting work-men's
wages. Why not leave them as free to make their own bargains, as the
law-makers are to let their farms and houses? Personal labour is all
the property they have. Why is that little, and the little freedom they
enjoy, to be infringed?



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