31 OCTOBER 1908, Page 15


[To THE EDITOS OF vas " SPZETATOIt."] Sth,—Not many of your readers will have noticed that tha Municipal Council of Fourmies (Nord) have passed three resolutions which may be of interest to Income-tax payer. These enlightened burgesses have resolved that taxatioh should be equalised,—(1) by reducing it in proportion to the number of children in a family ; (2) by creatieg a special tax to be imposed on childless citize ns, and by dis- tributing the sum thus realised among the parents of large families in proportion to the number of their offspring; (3) by the suppression of indirect taxation, which necessarily weighs unfairly upon large families through their con- sumption of dutiable commodities. Lest it should be said that these resolutions are the work of obscure humourists, let me add that they have the support of M. Piot, the well-known Senator of the Cote-d'Or. No doubt the Municipal Councillors go too far. But surely they are right in insisting that taxes weigh with unfair severity on fathers of families. Especially is this the case in England, where sons remain at the University till twenty-four or twenty-five, dependent on the paternal resources, or, to take another case, need help from home when they are serving in the naval or military forces of their country. A middle-class father with an average middle-class income, who has six or seven sons to start in life, has remark- ably little income for his own personal uses, and is practically as ill off as many who escape all direct taxation. May one of their number be permitted to address a hearty compliment and thanks to the excellent Municipal Councillors of Fourmies (Nord) ? May their olive-branches increase round their hospitable boards, and may M. Piot, the venerable Senator of the CUte-d'Or, succeed in his philanthropic—his pbilo- progenitive—ellorts.—I am, Sir, &c., fl. S.