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People's Budget

The 1909/1910 People's Budget was a proposal of the Liberal government that introduced unprecedented taxes on the lands and incomes of Britain's wealthy to fund new social welfare programmes. It passed the House of Commons in 1909 but was blocked by the House of Lords for a year and became law in April 1910, it was championed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, David Lloyd George, his young ally Winston Churchill, President of the Board of Trade and a fellow Liberal. Churchill's biographer, William Manchester, called the People's Budget a "revolutionary concept" because it was the first budget in British history with the expressed intent of redistributing wealth amongst the British population, it was a key issue of contention between the Liberal government and the Conservative-dominated House of Lords, leading to two general elections in 1910 and the enactment of the Parliament Act 1911. The Budget was introduced in the British Parliament by David Lloyd George on 29 April 1909. Lloyd George argued that the People's Budget would eliminate poverty, commended it thus: This is a war Budget.

It is for raising money to wage implacable warfare against poverty and squalidness. I cannot help hoping and believing that before this generation has passed away, we shall have advanced a great step towards that good time, when poverty, the wretchedness and human degradation which always follows in its camp, will be as remote to the people of this country as the wolves which once infested its forests; the budget included several proposed tax increases to fund the Liberal welfare reforms. Income tax was held at nine pence in the pound on incomes less than £2,000, equivalent to £225,000 in today's money—but a higher rate of one shilling was proposed on incomes greater than £2,000, an additional surcharge or supertax of 6d was proposed on the amount by which incomes of £5,000, or more exceeded £3,000. An increase was proposed in death duties and naval rearmament. More controversially, the Budget included a proposal for the introduction of complete land valuation and a 20% tax on increases in value when land changed hands.

Land taxes were based on the ideas of the American tax reformer Henry George. This would have had a major effect on large landowners, the Conservative-Unionist opposition, many of whom were large landowners, had had an overwhelming majority in the Lords since the Liberal split in 1886. Furthermore, the Conservatives believed that money should be raised through the introduction of tariffs on imports, which would benefit British industry and trade within the Empire, raise revenue for social reforms at the same time. According to economic theory, such tariffs would have been beneficial for landowners tariffs on agricultural produce, but the costs to ordinary consumers would have exceeded the gains to these landowners; the Northcliffe Press urged rejection of the budget to give tariff reform a chance. There were many public meetings, some of them organised by dukes, which portrayed the budget as the thin end of the socialist wedge. Lloyd George gave a speech at Limehouse in which he said that "a fully-equipped duke costs as much to keep up as two dreadnoughts" but was "much less easy to scrap".

The Conservatives wanted to force an election by rejecting the budget. The Lords were entitled by convention to reject but not to amend a money bill but had not rejected a budget for two centuries; the budget had included only annual renewals of existing taxes—any amendment to taxes was part of a separate Act. That ended in 1861 when the Lords rejected the repeal of paper duties, which would have benefited new cheaper newspapers aimed at men who hoped soon to be given the right to vote, at the expense of existing papers. From on, all taxes were included in the Finance Bill, no such bill had been rejected, including the controversial introduction of death duties by Sir William Harcourt in 1894. Despite the King's private urgings for the budget to be passed to avoid a crisis, the House of Lords vetoed the new budget on 30 November 1909 although it clarified that it would pass the bill as soon as the Liberals obtained an electoral mandate for it; the Liberals countered by proposing to reduce the power of the Lords.

That was the main issue of the general election in January 1910, setting the stage for a tremendous showdown, which Lloyd George and Churchill relished. Despite the heated rhetoric, opinion in the country was divided; the Unionists, with 47% of the votes, were outpolled by the Liberals and their allies from the Labour Party. The outcome was a hung parliament, with the Liberals relying on Labour and the Irish Parliamentary Party for their parliamentary majority; as the price for their continued support, the Irish nationalist MPs demanded measures to remove the Lords' veto so that they could no longer block Irish Home Rule. They threatened to vote down the Budget in the House of Commons until Asquith pledged to introduce such measures; as they had promised, the Lords accepted the Budget on 28 April 1910, a year to the day after its introduction, but contention between the government and the Lords continued until the second general election in December 1910, when the Unionists were again outpolled by their combined opponents.

The result was another hung parliament, with the Liberals again relying on Labour and the Irish

Ray Howard-Jones

Rosemary "Ray" Howard-Jones was a prolific English painter best known for her impressionistic seascapes and paintings of the coastline of Wales of the areas around Skomer and Marloes. Howard-Jones was born in Lambourn, Berkshire, in 1903, her father was a vet and racehouse trainer who enlisted in the Royal Army Veterinary Corps during World War I. He served on the Western Front rising to the rank of Colonel but died in 1921 from the effects of a war-time gas attack. Both her parents were Welsh and at the age of two Ray Howard-Jones went to live at her grandfather's house in Penarth. Howard-Jones attended St. Hilda's School in Penarth and the London Garden School. In 1920 she went to the Slade School of Art in London, graduating four years with a Fine Art Diploma that included distinctions in painting, wood engraving and design, she won the Slades summer composition prize for her oil painting Christ on the Road to Calvary. As a student Howard-Jones created a mural for the headquarters of the Student Christian Movement in Gower Street near the Slade.

She held her first solo exhibition in 1935 at the Bloomsbury Gallery in London but her art career was interrupted by bad health, first with recurring back pains and a bout of tuberculosis. For a time she worked in a lamp factory, she returned to live in Penarth, to organise her grandparents substantial household and arrange their nursing care. In Cardiff Howard-Jones went to work for the National Museum of Wales, providing drawings of archaeological reconstructions for the published works of Sir Cyril Fox and Dr Nash-Williams. In July 1942 Howard-Jones submitted 11 drawings to the War Artists' Advisory Committee, which were not purchased and indeed were censored for the duration of the conflict, she submitted further drawings in November 1942 and July 1943 which were purchased and led to a commission to produce paintings of the fortifications on the islands of Flat Holm and Steep Holm in the Bristol Channel. Howard-Jones painted scenes showing the preparations for D-Day taking place around Penarth and the Cardiff Docks.

In all WAAC accepted fifteen paintings, including a portrait of her brother, a REME brigadier, to fulfill her commission. These paintings are now held by the National Army Museum. In 1946 Howard-Jones spent some time in Scotland at the art school run by James Cowie at Hospitalfield House, her home in Penarth had been bombed during the war, so in 1947 Howard-Jones moved to Ravenscourt Park in West London, where she stayed for the rest of her life, although she visited Wales every year with her partner, the photographer Raymond Moore. For nine summers, between 1949 and 1958, the couple served as the resident caretakers of Skomer Island off the coast of Pembrokeshire. At Skomer, Howard-Jones painted seascapes, which are among her best known works; as well as Skomer, Ray-Jones painted scenes at the Ebbw Vale steel works and worked as a medical illustrator. In 1958 she was commissioned to design a mosaic for the headquarters of the Western Mail in Cardiff. In 1965 she designed an mosaic altarpiece for the parish church of Marchmont St. Giles in Edinburgh.

From 1959 Howard-Jones and Moore returned to Pembrokeshire on a regular basis, spending extended periods in a simple cottage at Martin's Haven. After the couple split in 1971, Howard-Jones continued to live at the cottage on her own. In 1959 Howard-Jones had a solo show at the Leicester Galleries in London. Over the next ten years she was to have five shows there, she exhibited with the Royal Society of British Artists and with the Royal Cambrian Academy. During the winter of 1963 she held a two-women show with Glenys Cour at the Attic Gallery in Swansea. In all her work featured in thirty solo shows in Britain and her work is represented in galleries in both Australia and the United States; the Welsh Arts Council toured two retrospectives of her work, first in 1974 and again in 1983 and 1984. The Rocket Press organised a life-time retrospective of her work in 1993, which Howard-Jones attended and included works she had produced in her late eighties. A volume of her poetry, Heart of the Rock: Poems by Ray Howard-Jones was published at the same time.

She had a deep religious faith and, late in her life, took vows as an oblate at an Anglican Benedictine community. Howard-Jones' 1959 mosaic, "An Eye for the People", was created in Italy and installed on Thomson House, after the artist had won a Wales-wide competition in 1958; the 35-feet high mosaic included a giant blue eye which represented the role of the Western Mail newspaper in Wales. After 50 years the mosaic and the building were demolished in 2008 before the Twentieth Century Society was able to save it; the Society described it as "one of the finest post-war mosaics in Britain". The only surviving mosaic by Howard-Jones is her 1965 altarpiece in Edinburgh. 97 paintings by or after Ray Howard-Jones at the Art UK site

Larry DeMar

Lawrence E. "Larry" DeMar is a video pinball designer and software programmer. He is known as co-designer, alongside Eugene Jarvis, of the classic arcade games Defender and Robotron: 2084, he is the founder of design firm Leading Edge Design, which creates gaming concepts for the casino industry. Defender Stargate Robotron: 2084 Blaster Black Knight Jungle Lord Scorpion Space Shuttle: Pinball Adventure High Speed Banzai Run FunHouse Jack*Bot The Addams Family The Twilight Zone World Cup Soccer Leading Edge Design Larry DeMar on LinkedIn Pinball News: Interview with Larry DeMar at Pinball Expo 2003