13 FEBRUARY 1909, Page 1

The Times of Wednesday and Thursday contains articles of very

great interest on the Budget by " Our Parliamentary Correspondent." The writer shows that the realised deficit has already reached nearly six millions. It must not be for- gotten, however, that part of this deficit is due to the reduc- tion of taxation, which amounted to £2,188,000. In view of all the facts, however, it would seem almost certain that the total realised deficit will reach at least four millions. It may be five. This itself is a serious matter, as it means that instead of a considerable sum going to pay off Debt, we shall actually have to increase the Debt in some form or other, either floating or funded, by another four or five millions. What is even more serious is the fact that the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he is ordinarily prudent, must calculate upon an equally large shrinkage of revenue in the coming financial year. He starts, that is, with an estimated deficit of four to five millions, even if he does not add a halfpenny of new expen,- diture. But instead of being able to avoid new expenditure, he will have to spend at least three millions more on the Navy. Old-age pensions will cost certainly seven and a half millions more than they did last year, and in all probability eight millions more. The general increase in expenditure in various• directions the Times writer putt at two and a half millions.