Cost of monarchy report published: £300m lost to taxpayer last year

Campaign group Republic has published its fully revised report on royal finances, “Worth Every Penny?”, detailing the hidden costs that include Duchy income, costs met by local councils and the sovereign support grant.
The total comes to £299.4m for 2013/14, around 9 times higher than the official figure due to be published on Wednesday.
The report can be downloaded at www.republic.org.uk/wortheverypenny.pdf.
Included in the hidden costs are Lord Lieutenants which set the taxpayer back more than £2m a year – despite most people having never heard of them.
The report also includes lost profits from the Duchy of Cornwall, an estate that should be sending its revenue to the taxpayer rather than Prince Charles.
Local authorities are estimated to have spent over £21m last year on royal visits.
Republic’s chief executive officer, Graham Smith, said :
These figures point to a royal household out of control and beyond proper scrutiny.  This is what happens when public figures can’t be challenged and when they are protected by official secrecy.”
Far from being good value the British monarchy is one of the most expensive institutions of its kind in Europe.  Despite dubious claims about tourism the monarchy is all cost and no gain.”
When public services, flood defences and jobs are being cut, this kind of spending on the royals is a scandal.”
 
“A key point here is that the total cost is hidden – it shouldn’t be down to us to work this out, all these costs should be properly accounted for and reported independently of Buckingham palace.  This week we’ll see another official report that ignores tens of millions of pounds and which is couched in spin and fantasy.” 
MPs need to urgently investigate these hidden costs and look at radically changing the way the royals are funded.  These figures shouldn’t be a surprise when we see millions wasted on travel and refurbished palaces.  Drastic action is needed to stop this abuse of public money.”
 
“All we need is an annual salary for the head of state and a modest budget for managing official duties.  The British taxpayer does not owe the Windsor family a living.”
 
The report will say that the annual cost of the monarchy is equivalent to 14,000 new nurses or 13,000 police officers.  The cost is more than the amount cut from flood defence spending over recent years.
Claims about tourism and Crown Estate revenue are also taken to task in the report.  There is no evidence that the monarchy generates any revenue for the country – even the bogus £500m tourism figure often quoted in the press represents 0.03% of GDP, less than the margin of error of 0.7%
Source – Republic. 24 June 2014

9 comments

  1. Methusalada

    Interesting article ! Lord Lieutenant’s are unelected by the people in each & every county of the UK. They are appointed by the Queen as her representative to the people & have the responsibility to report back to the monarchy any & all matters that is deemed to be of concern & is a threat to the monarchy. Basically it is a intelligence warning service on who should be under surveillance that is considered a possible risk to the future holdings of the monarchies lands, power & non taxable wealth.
    However my own thoughts on such matters is that we should for the moment leave them to enjoy their indulgent life style and get on with the real issue of cleansing UK politics’ in Westminster Parliament & the House of Lords.

  2. prayerwarriorpsychicnot

    The arguments re “the Monarchy” are always fudged. We are constantly told this is better than a President. Well, that would be an argument if it was A monarch as opposed to A president. As it stands, as the Queen is well-past retirement date and obviously unfit to carry out all monarchical/presidential duties, she remains in place with all the privileges and perks attached, and any number of her relatives share out the tasks between them ALL sharing in the privileges and perks. The Royal Family as it is and how it functions, is itself a strong argument for having a President. If a President couldn’t do his job he would have to stand down and be replaced by someone fit – he wouldn’t continue to collect the pay and privileges while his work is spread among all his relatives also getting pay and privileges.

    • untynewear

      At least with a president we’d have the opportunity to vote for them, and they would only be elected for a fixed term… and no handing it down to your son, grandson, great-grandson – do people realise that the Windsors have the monarchy sewn up for the next three generations, probably around the next hundred years ? Chilling, when you think of it in those terms…

      • prayerwarriorpsychicnot

        “Windsors having the monarchy sewn up” – no, I hadn’t thought about that. Good point . What annoyed me was hearing the oath they take in Parliament is to the Monarch AND her DESCENDANTS. Was it always that way or did someone anticipate when our beloved Queen goes there would be a swell of opinion to end the monarchy. Constitutional monarchy – OK, just. Back to a Royal dynasty with ever expanding relatives to form the basis of an aristocracy – NO WAY. Besides which, as we are no longer a sovereign nation the role of sovereign is superfluous.

    • Methusalada

      Not sure I would like the concept of a President Blair or a President Cameron or others of a similar ilk. You would then have a different shade of Presidential Secretariat Civil Service Staff which shall then be the new power behind the throne. WE have sufficient problems reclaiming our own Government first . When we have managed to do & at this point in time that’s only a possibility on if we can even do that. As a republican, agnostic socialist I believe in realities & not fantasy bloody revolutions .
      Which political party exists today in the UK that has a policy of republicanism & the removal of the monarchy & the public support to put into effect such a policy ?
      Whilst I can dream of this little isle one day becoming a citizen of a republican state it shall remain a dream well after I am gone. So we better sort out our selves out now by getting good republican politicians installed first & then the abolition of the House of Lords. But in the mean time we have Bilderberg, World Economic Forum and cleaning out the stables of the capitalist bankers . Which job would you like to tackle first ?

      • untynewear

        @Methusalada – “Not sure I would like the concept of a President Blair or a President Cameron or others of a similar ilk.”

        No, me neither – but of course there’s no reason why a president has to be a political figure. Sure, that’s probably the way it’d turn out, not least because any changes would be enacted by politicians, some of whom would have an eye on the job for themselves.

        But in a hypothetical situation like this – we’re always being told “royalty” is non-political (despite Chas’s best efforts apparently) and are really a kind of up-market meeter & greeter for the nation. So no reason why you couldn’t bar anyone who’d been a paid politician from the job.

        Why not elect an actor or something ?

        I mean, all these years of practice and Mrs Windsor STILL reads every speech like a stoned housewife going through a particularly boring shopping list. No charisma – none of them have.

        So elect an actor as a (non-political) head of state, and at least they’d SOUND like the real thing. Really, its an acting role when it comes down to it.

        Of course we might also end up with President Russell Brand – but even that’s got to be preferable…

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