British Monarchist League
 
By:
Matthew Hone
Member, The British Monarchist League
Last week, the UK government announced plans to change the way our Royal Family is funded. From 2013, all of the grants the Queen receives will be consolidated into a single 'sovereign support grant', and Treasury sources say the level of this new grant this will match the spending cuts across Whitehall.

In 2011, Her Majesty received a Civil List grant of £7.9 million to fund her role as Head of State, and separate grants of £22 million to fund the upkeep of the Royal Household. Added together, the grants come to around £30 million, originating from the taxpayer and  being paid to the monarch by the government. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/theroyalfamily/8500765/Royal-family-braced-for-cut-in-funding.html )

From 2013, the new Sovereign Support Grant will be based on a share of profits from the Crown Estate. The Crown Estate is not owned by the monarch, but it manages their assets, including the Windsor estate, minerals in strata across the UK and fisheries in Scotland. Therefore, the monarch will be funded by their own property. In the financial year of 2009/2010 the Treasury was given £211 million by the Crown Estate, so it is more than capable of supporting Royalty. (source:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/theroyalfamily/8499943/How-Civil-List-reform-will-affect-the-Royal-family.html)

Members of the government and the House of Commons have likened savings in the monarchy to savings in any other government department. Chris Heaton-Harris, Conservative MP and member of the Commons public accounts committee, said: “They would no doubt be the first to realise these are tough times and families all over the country are having to make sacrifices.”

Another positive from this is that it defeats a central republican argument: the idea that the Royal Family are 'parasites' and living off the taxpayer like benefit cheats. This is a fallacy: it ignores the fact that the Royal Family do lots of work for their keep, but thanks to this Bill it won't matter anyway. From 2013 all of their reimbursement will come from land holdings, not the public purse. Never again can the republicans accuse the monarchy of being a burden on the taxpayer.

The Bill is still in draft and negotations are taking place with Buckingham Palace. Not all the details are known, but as it stands I think the idea of paying the monarch a wage formed from their own profits, and not from the taxpayers wallet, is a positive step forward for our monarchy. It makes the annual allowance given to Her Majesty a little less extravagant to the ordinary person on the street, and takes away any burden the Royal Household might be on the state.
 


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