Candid Caller

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The Independent Online
THE Queen receives pounds 7.9m a year from the civil list and speculation has begun as to whether she will start paying income tax. If she did, perhaps pounds 2.75m in additional revenue would be generated for the Government to use. This week the Candid Caller picked up the portable to ask the following: how would you like to see the royal tax spent, and what salary would you ask as queen or king?

Mr Nigel King of Gravesend: 'I'd like to see it spent on education and helping the unemployed, I'm unemployed myself. She should definitely pay - why should she get away with it? I would do her job for a reasonable amount, say pounds 30,000 a year.'

Mrs Hilda Queen of Crewe: 'It should be spent on the poor and I think it's fair that the Queen pay tax; after all, we all have to pay it, don't we? I wouldn't do her job for all the tea in China.'

Mrs Celia Prince of Southend-on-Sea: 'For a start, I'd like to see the money spent on helping the elderly. I work as a home help and they could benefit from a bit more money in their hands. It's not a job for me.'

Mrs Marie Edwards (nee Royal ) of Croydon: 'Well, I don't think the Queen should pay income tax. I do believe in the Royal Family and think the Queen earns most of the money she gets. I don't think I would like her life, she's too much in the public eye.'

Mr James Crown of Bury St Edmunds: 'The tax should be spent on charities and similar organisations to help out in these tough times. I wouldn't be monarch, there's too much pressure.'

Mr Herve Regent of Vauxhall, south London: 'The Queen is overpaid so I'd certainly like to see her pay income tax; the money could go into the health service. I'd do the job for pounds 500,000 a year; I can start tomorrow.'

Mrs Ann Fergie from Putney, south London: 'What, the paltry two million-odd we'd get from the Queen? ('Yes.') It's going to be a drop in the ocean wherever, but at the moment I feel most passionately about education, so I'd like to see it spent there. I think it's a matter of principle rather than the amount of money: we're heading for a republic if the Royal Family go on as they're going and if they pay income tax then at least people will feel slightly happier about it. As for being queen, you've locked into my wildest dreams but I wouldn't be queen for anything.'

Mr Herbert Windsor from Windsor: 'There's so much to be done it's difficult to know where to start spending the money for the best. My priority would be to start building council houses again to improve the housing situation; in this area we're overwhelmed with people on the waiting list. It's not a matter of money, I just wouldn't want to do her job.'

Mrs Beryl Sandringham of Liverpool: 'I think the pensioners could do with a little bit of help. I wouldn't swap places with her as I think she has a terrible job, but she should pay tax. Definitely.'

Mrs Bertha Cartland of Streatham, south London: 'The money should go to the hospitals to help improve the health service. I'd never take on her job although I think the royals have a good life, they don't have any money worries like we do. I'm a pensioner coping on pounds 56 a week; and when I was working I didn't earn big money, but I always paid income tax.'

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