Queen Elizabeth II to get £6m pay rise from public funds

Queen Elizabeth II's official expenditure increased by £2m to almost £42m

Samuel Osborne
Tuesday 27 June 2017 16:23
The Queen ascended the throne in 1952 and has seen 13 Prime Minister serve Britain
The Queen ascended the throne in 1952 and has seen 13 Prime Minister serve Britain

The Queen is expected to receive a £6m "pay rise" from the taxpayer after the Crown Estate recorded a £24m increase in income.

Prince Charles, heir to the Queen, also got a 1.2 per cent pay increase to £20.7m, while cutting his tax bill by 5.1 per cent to £4.7m

The taxpayer-funded Sovereign Grant, which pays for costs such as royal household salaries, official travel and the upkeep of royal palaces, is expected to be £82.2m in 2018/19, up just over £6m.

Under the grant, the Queen receives a percentage of the Crown Estate profits for her official expenditure, which increased by £2m to almost £42m. Figures from the Crown Estate revealed a £24.7m increase in profits to £328.8m in 2016/17.

Queen wears pink on Ladies' Day at Royal Ascot

Royal aides said Queen Elizabeth II and her family provide "excellent value for money," but anti-monarchy republicans argue the true annual cost of the royals to taxpayers is hundreds of millions of pounds.

The Queen and the Royal Family's official travel cost the taxpayer £4.5 million during 2016/17, up £500,000, but a royal source has revealed the Queen keeps an eye on travel costs.

Not only does the Queen "sign off" all royal travel, the source suggested she comments to her family if the visit is too expensive. It said: "She might have a word in the ear of the principle".

The Royal Family have often been criticised for the amount spent on minor royals and travel expenses.

The most expensive journey by Royal Train was made by the Prince of Wales and cost more than £46,000.

The two-day trip from Windsor to Lancashire and Yorkshire came to £46,038, costing £95.32 per mile. The Royal Family made 14 trips costing more than £15,000 each on the Royal Train in 2016-2017, which came to £288,697.

A ministerial jet converted from an RAF plane to help save money on official trips may have cost more than £150,000 to fly the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall on their European tour.

Bucking Palace requires extensive refurbishment, which is expected to cost £369m. The percentage of the Crown Estate profits given to the Queen will increase from 15 per cent to 25 per cent between 2017 and 2027 to help cover the cost of the work.

Alan Reid, the queen's treasurer known as Keeper of the Privy Purse, said the cost of the monarchy to every Briton last year amounted to 65 pence - the cost of a first-class postage stamp.

"When you consider that against what the queen does and represents for this country, I believe it represents excellent value for money," Mr Reid said.

However, the campaign group Republic, published its own report on royal expenses saying the annual bill was nearer to £345m once security and other costs were included.

Graham Smith, CEO of Republic, said: "The magic money tree has a name and it's called the Sovereign Grant. This arrangement is unsustainable, the way the grant is worked out means the taxpayer keeps throwing more money at the royals while public services are being cut."

"Palace renovations should be paid for through opening up to tourists all year round. The Queen's official duties should be funded through proper budgeting, working out what's needed not what they can get their hands on."

"The grant has risen 167 per cent since 2012. There simply isn't any good reason for this increase. And this official figure disguises the real annual cost of £345m."

"To add insult to injury the palace engages in dishonesty and spin to justify this raid on public funds, making the disgraceful claim that they cost just a few pence per person."

"It's time the government took over the running of the palace finances and handed the management of the buildings to an independent body. The grant should be replaced with a simple annual budget, just like any other public authority."

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