‘Taxes that will bring forth fruit’ – The centenary of the People’s Budget of 1909

Following the introduction of Old Age Pensions by the Liberal government of H H Asquith in 1908 and the plans to legislate for limited unemployment and sickness benefit through National Insurance, Chancellor of the Exchequer David Lloyd George brought in the means to pay for these measures, as well as for naval rearmament, in his 1909 People’s Budget. It was a truly radical budget as, for the first time, an attempt was made to redistribute wealth from the rich to the poor.

The budget led to a constitutional stand-off between the government and the House of Lords. Finally, after the two general elections of 1910, the House of Lords agreed to pass the Parliament Act of 1911, confirming the primacy of the elected over the hereditary chamber.

The meeting will examine the political context in which the budget was introduced and evaluate its importance to Liberalism 100 years ago and its resonance today.

Speakers: Professor Lord Kenneth O. Morgan (historian and biographer of Lloyd George) and Dr Vince Cable MP (Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats and Shadow Chancellor).

Chair: William Wallace (Lord Wallace of Saltaire).

Anyone is welcome to attend and participate, whether or not they are a History Group member; no pre-registration is necessary. An attendance fee may be charged to non-members for some meetings

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