A. Explain Why the House of Lords Rejected the 1909 Budget. Essay

608 Words Oct 16th, 2012 3 Pages
The House of Lords in 1909 consisted mainly of aristocrats that where part of the conservative party. There are many different reasons for the rejection of the people’s budget, which was an idea, brought forward by David Lloyd George of the Liberal party. The swift rejection by the House of Lords sparked the first constitutional crisis of the 20th century.
The first reason I am going to bring forward is that this new budget included the idea of taxation on the rich for money that would go to support the poor. A position in the House of Lords was inherited; this meant that the peers in the House of Lords were all relations with inherited wealth. This meant that the people the Budget targeted included the peers in the House of Lords; they
…show more content…
With this in mind the peers did not want to be seen as weak in the eyes of the voters, so in order for them to appear strong they had to reject the budget, showing that they would not fall for the Liberals tricks. So the rejection of the People’s Budget could be seen as an act of strength by the House of Lords.
The House of Lords were mostly, if not all conservatives. These conservatives argued that this People’s budget was no ordinary budget because it amounted to a social reform. Opponents of this money bill were worried by the idea of redistributive taxation and also of progressive taxation. This is because it did not advertise self-help which the conservative party strongly believed in. They feared that once these principles, of the budget, were established they could be extended to ‘soak the rich’ and even out the unfair distribution of income and wealth in Britain. So in 1909 the Lords vetoed the budget.
I think that the most important point that influenced the House of Lords to vote against the People’s budget is that it may harm their image to the general public. If they looked weak to the voters this would impact on the number of votes that the conservatives in the House of Lords would get which in turn would make them weaker. Therefore I think this is the most important point, the peers vetoed the money bill to make them appear