Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sir William Harcourt introduces his second budget

More money was required to pay for an increase in the size of the Royal Navy and Harcourt funded this through a penny increase in income tax and extra duty on spirits and beer. His most important innovation was the introduction of graduated death duties to be paid on the consolidated value on an estate. Harcourt steered the finance bill through the House of Commons, demonstrating great skill in the face of considerable opposition. This budget was possibly Harcourt’s greatest triumph and was one of the most important finance measures of the nineteenth century.