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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 29

Absurdity of Estimate

Absurdity of Estimate.

Even if the late Colonial Treasurer meant a tax only on private landed property owned by such of the 450,000 British people as were likely to be freeholders, when such a tax should come into force, it is a grave assertion to make, that the annual value of that property can only be assessed at £2,600,000. Supposing the 117 people formerly described as alone holding 6,500,000 acres to own one-half of the private landed property, the whole amounts to 13,000,000 acres; and, if Major Atkinson's estimate be correct, the total income derived from that enormous property is only at the average rate of four shillings per acre! New Zealand only contains 68,000,000 acres altogether, so that the whole country, at the same rate, would only yield a landed income of £13,600,000, from which, at 1s, in the £, only £680,000 could be raised towards the cost of Government, and the payment of interest and sinking fund on a debt which already amounts to nearly twenty millions. This would be a bright prospect for the money lenders, who have been persuaded, by the flowery representations of Sir Julius Vogel and his followers as to the value of the country, into advancing the millions.