Augustus set himself against the undue multiplication of manumissions, probably considering the rapid succession of new citizens a source of social instability, and recommended a similar policy to his successor.
The power of imposing conditions on testamentary manumissions was restricted, and these conditions interpreted in the sense most favourable to freedom.
The other charges that affected Italy were the 5% duty on manumissions, and customs dues on seaborne imports.
A parliament had been called in November; it voted that all the charters given by the king at Mile End were null and void, no manumissions or grants of privileges could have been valid without the consent of the estates of the realm, and for their own parts they would never consent to such, of their own free will nor otherwise, even to save themselves from sudden death.
But at the same time he devoted his energies to the improvement of the administration of the empire; he reformed the standard of coinage, fixed the price of provisions and other necessaries of daily life, remitted the tax upon inheritances and manumissions, abolished various monopolies, repressed corruption and encouraged trade.