Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 2, No. 17. August 9, 1939
About the Budget
About the Budget
Our Socialist Government's fourth Budget came to light last week.
The increase in taxation of income and company profits are in line with the Government's past actions and in our view are quite commendable. The fact that the big companies generally manage to pass on direct taxation to the consumers, however, makes it difficult to deal with them adequately. Increase in cost of living is indicated.
The Minister says that two thirds of our petrol is used commercially. It seems likely, then, that the petrol tax will not result in a great shrinkage of consumption. The same remark applies to beer insofar us it is a luxury preferred by many consumers to more rationally necessary expenditure. Both tuxes should realise their respective estimates and the beer tax is certainly morally justifiable.
It is a pity that the Government finds it necessary to mask its need for money under the cry of defence costs. Argument like this shows the Government's desire to escape from Opposition criticism of its £62,000,000 spending campaign. It also shows a desire to appease the British moneylender. Seems to work, too; London comment culls the Budget "prudent."
The proposed expenditure of £23,000,000 on public works is excessive. Some of the works being attempted could well be left to the future. The undertakings are in some cases merely a masked form of unemployment relief However, such relief must be given, and in a better form than the 10/- a week starvation camps of Messrs. Coates and Forbes. Many of the criticised works, too, though perhaps not very remunerative, required completion having been once begun, and the wastage caused by their abandonment in the past has been little short of scandalous.
The most [unclear: cheeful] point in the Budget is that the development of iron and steel works at Onekaka is to proceed. If this project justifies the [unclear: optimism] of the Ministry it will proved a very valuable asset to the country. Word to wise Science students (if any); Study up on [gap — reason: illegible]n and steel!
By arrangement with "Salient" staff, Mr. J.[gap — reason: illegible]. White is guest editor of this issue.—M.L.B.