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David Lloyd George

Before becoming Liberal Party Prime Minister in 1916, David Lloyd George was the longest-serving Chancellor of the Exchequer in the 20th century. His ‘People’s Budget’ of 1909 proposed a large increase in the tax burden on the landed classes to pay for higher social spending. The controversy over the budget led to two general elections in 1910, as a result of which the House of Lords lost its effective power of veto over ‘money’, or taxation, legislation in the Parliament Act the next year.

This is an edited extract from a longer recording.

Transcript

I am one of the children of the people. I was brought up amongst them and I know their trials and their troubles. I therefore determined in framing the budget to add nothing to the anxieties of their lot, but to do something towards lightening those they already bear with such patience and fortitude.

No necessity of life will be dearer or more difficult to get owing to the budget. On the other hand, out of the money raised by taking superfluity, funds will be established to secure honourable sustenance for the deserving old and to assist our great benefit societies in making adequate provision for sickness and infirmity and against a poverty which comes to the widows and orphans of those who fall in the battle of industry. This is the plan, this the purpose of this government. We mean to achieve these aims whoever stands in the way. David Lloyd George.

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