Royal funding changes become law

 
The Queen The changes to the funding of the Royal Family have been attacked by campaigners Republic

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The biggest change for 250 years to the way the Royal Family is financed will be passed into law later.

The Civil List, which dates from 1760, and the grants paid for travel and upkeep of palaces are to be replaced by a single Sovereign Grant from 2013.

The size of the grant will be 15% of the profits made by the Crown Estate.

Buckingham Palace has called it "a modern, transparent and simpler way of funding the head of state", but critics say it is economically indefensible.

BBC royal correspondent Peter Hunt said: "The last significant parliamentary debate about royal finances took place in the year the current chancellor was born, and after Prince Philip had declared on American television his family was in the red and might have to move into smaller premises.

"Four decades on, the Queen's husband has remained silent while her nineteenth chancellor, George Osborne, has introduced a new Sovereign Grant."

After announcing the change in his Spending Review late last year, Mr Osborne said it should ensure "my successors do not have to return to this issue as often as I have had to".

Property portfolio

The Sovereign Grant Bill introduces a single payment given to the monarch based on 15% of the Crown Estate's revenue from two years previously.

Starting from 2013-14, this funding arrangement will last seven years before it is reviewed.

The Crown Estate has a property portfolio which includes, among other things, Regent Street, Windsor Great Park and much of the UK coastline.

The grant is expected to be £34m in the first year, in line with recent royal spending, our correspondent added.

In the past, the monarch received money from three different government departments: funds for the Civil List from the Treasury; a Department for Transport grant for travel costs; funds for maintenance of royal palaces and communications from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

The campaign group Republic, which calls for an elected head of state, has described the changes as economically and morally indefensible.

"Pegging royal funding to Crown Estate revenue makes no sense at all," it has argued.

"The two are not related. Crown Estate revenue has always been there to provide funds for the government."

It wants the monarchy to be subject to an annual budget, just like government departments.

 

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  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 522.

    521. Kid Chameleon

    No... the royal family exist because we've never been given an option to vote on the matter, so you can't possibly know that the majority of people want to retain their services."

    ----

    There was an ICM poll in April 2011 that showed that more than 2/3rds of the public supported the Monarchy.

    Your move...

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 521.

    517 sadgit

    "The Royal family still exist because the majority of the British public wish to retain the Queen or King as head of state"

    No... the royal family exist because we've never been given an option to vote on the matter, so you can't possibly know that the majority of people want to retain their services.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 520.

    351.William Summers

    "@Jason "How does £34m pa compare to other heads of state?" > Very poorly! Britain's royal family is the most expensive in Europe, and more than double the cost of the Dutch monarchy. "

    Which is kind of ironic really, considering the role played by William of Orange in the Glorious Revolution of 1688. .

  • rate this
    -4

    Comment number 519.

    It's got to be said, no other country does Royal like we do. Looking back to the marriage of William & Kate, our Royals looked royal, other royal families were left in the shade. And if we're only going to pay them 15% of what they bring in, then that is an absolute BARGAIN!

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 518.

    These people do not work at all, look at Prince Andrew, hes so incompetant that we can not afford to allow him to do a voluntary role nevermind a paid post.
    As for giving the Royal Family ca 34 Million to pay her staff so that they can live in homes the public own, it is a disgrace. I would rather pay an elected head of state more at least I could be that head of state

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 517.

    The Royal family still exist because the majority of the British public wish to retain the Queen or King as head of state .
    Look around at the alternatives around the world these do not look as good as a head of state that is above the political claptrap (at present) .
    I do not see how it would be cheaper have a president or other with all the hangers on that they hide in their state run mansions.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 516.

    509.Bigry666

    Great idea.....

    That also means you need to remove a large chunk of government too as they live truly by their own laws.

    I would bet every penny I have that you would find far more corruption in our government than you would in the Royal family.

    So do you honestly think they can go around doing what they want without any recourse ? Please, be serious.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 515.

    506.The_Gambler
    The chance of anyone becoming PM is probably only slightly higher!

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 514.

    Compared to the £500 million the UK Parliament costs taxpayers ( & that's without the enormous costs of cock-ups in projects agreed by parliament but that never worked) this deal is a snip.
    and they add tourism value

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 513.

    511. The_Gambler

    I've got a symbol for you that would benefit us greatly - how about we have a country where everyone lives by the same laws, rather than one being outside them?"

    ----

    They do live under the law of the land, and such a principle was enshrined in the Magna Carta.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 512.

    503. The_Gambler
    Let's see...appointing a government, dissolving a government, signing legislation into law, not having to give evidence in court...need I go on?"

    ---

    Yes, you need to. The first three they are obliged to do and cannot refuse, and the last is voluntary and I can't see any of them refusing.

    They have absolutely no real power, so why you have such a real issue with them is odd.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 511.

    509.Bigry666

    "They appoint / dissolve a government which is chosen by the PUBLIC in a democratic vote, and it's purely symbolic anyway"

    Good, then you won't mind getting rid of it.

    I've got a symbol for you that would benefit us greatly - how about we have a country where everyone lives by the same laws, rather than one being outside them?

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 510.

    503.. the-gambler.......u seem to be a extraordinary clever person.....tell me where did they get all there wealth from.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 509.

    503. The_Gambler

    You are joking.......

    They appoint / dissolve a government which is chosen by the PUBLIC in a democratic vote, and it's purely symbolic anyway, the crown would never appoint or dissolve a government that wasn't elected in that way.

    If somebody wants 'equality' as much as it sounds like you do, then may I suggest they move to China or North Korea....there everyone is equal.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 508.

    Interesting argument that the royals stole land by force and it should be given back. Too whom ? Can you prove your ancestors owned the land ? Should we give kent back to the germans as Alfred invaded it? Should cornwall be give back to the cornish? Gibraltar?

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 507.

    re: 505. Human0Bean
    >> The forelock tuggers are in plenty today.
    So are the iconoclasts.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 506.

    501.CurlyFriesFan

    See post 502 for a few of the things that make them not 'just another family'.

    They are an unelected representative - quite frankly, I don't want to be represented by them; I can do it myself and I didn't ask for it.

    I hold few of their views, so I don't see why they should have this position. Can I please be monarch for a bit? No? Well, that's democracy for ya...

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 505.

    The forelock tuggers are in plenty today.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 504.

    23. liarbbc
    10 HOURS AGO
    20.Ax0l0tl

    If you feel so strongly, why not leave then and move to a republic....
    Or are you simply a socialist armchair anti-monarchist.
    ------
    Because we have history on our side. It is only a matter of time before the monarchy is abolished once and for all.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 503.

    500.Bigry666

    "Please explain exactly what special privilege you think they get over and above other fabulously wealthy people in this country."

    Let's see...appointing a government, dissolving a government, signing legislation into law, not having to give evidence in court...need I go on?

    I'm sorry but you sound utterly confused by the idea of equality and democracy - voting for people.

 

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