Are the Royal Family a Luxury we can no Longer Afford?

Published: 2021-07-02 04:42:11
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Category: Tax

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Cheers rise from the jubilant crowd as the crowning moment we’ve all been waiting for finally arrives. Thousands fill the Mall, craning their necks as Queen Elizabeth II steps out onto her balcony, offering a smile to her adoring subjects. Clad in her bedazzled hat, she surveys the scene: a vast sea of British flags, frantic in their support of sixty years on the throne, waving in time to a raucous rendition of God Save the Queen. It probably never entered anyone’s heads that the funding was taken from their taxes as they donned absurd red, white and blue creations in the name of patriotism.
No one asked how much it was costing. Or who was paying for the whole shebang! I wasn’t bothered at the time either, nor the school kids and workers, happy for a day off and an excuse to watch telly. Those who went to see it in person couldn’t even see the Queen properly, unless they were pressed against the gates of Buckingham Palace. If they could, they weren’t able to see each Swarovski crystal they had paid for on her outfit. Whilst she was living it up, waving to her subjects, I reckon she was trying to push one nagging thought to the back of her mind.
That by letting the country take the day off, good old Liz had set us back ?1. 2 billion. I’m sure a recession is when a country has no money to spend, which explains the job losses and major cuts being made. So where is this money coming from? As it turns out, the taxpayers have already paid for staging the Jubilee concert, the crowd control and the enormous television screens so everyone could watch the event unfold from the Mall. They never asked if we wanted to fritter our taxes on such a frivolous event, as opposed to something that would benefit us, like, perhaps, digging us out of recession.



The day may have boosted public spirit, but spirit won’t pay the bills, especially in these times of supposed austerity. The argument from those in charge was that the tourism generated would boost the economy. They sold the rights to the coverage to over one hundred and forty countries around the world, hoping it would cover much of the cost, if not make a profit, which would go to the Diamond Jubilee Trust. The Trust is designed to benefit countries in the Commonwealth, and ‘deliver iconic projects … that are a fitting and enduring tribute to Her Majesty the Queen’, according to their website.
These include investments in areas such as sport for youths, helping the disabled, and protecting our country’s heritage. Whether or not the money was raised seems to be an undisclosed matter, perhaps a stark indication that the profit they originally anticipated wasn’t reached. The fact that the Diamond Jubilee is being celebrated worldwide perhaps shows what a prominent figure the Queen is the whole world over. Maybe that has gone to her head, as it is no doubt her British loyalists paying for the commuting and security for her.
Why should we cough up so she can swan off to Timbuktu or the like? Perhaps she’s caught onto the fact that her position isn’t quite what it used to be when the monarchy could order a criminal to be beheaded as easily as calling their maid for a cup of tea. Perhaps she’s upset now that she has so few powers, besides handing out awards to heroes and celebrities. She even had a role in the James Bond sketch for the Olympics to boost her appeal.
It’s sad to see what antics the old dear has been reduced to just to gain public appreciation, but then again, maybe it’s time she paid attention and realised that her position doesn’t have the same status it used to. When you tot up all dear Queenie’s accounts though, it turns out she’s only got a meagre ?310 million for herself, which must be a hideous hardship for the 86 year old. How she copes with only being 262nd on the Sunday Times Rich List I’ll never know. If you can’t be the richest person in your own country then what’s the point?
All the tireless hours she devotes to us, the hard work she puts in and she’s still not number one. Seems unfair, but wouldn’t you work as hard if the reward was a private jet to ferry you around the world, and a team of security to protect you. I would be more than happy to put in more effort if I was presented with such lavishness in return. But I think that, despite her obvious money troubles (?310 million of them! ), it’s good she pays council tax. Paying her way in her own country is an honourable thing to do. She doesn’t have to, but the point is, she chooses to.
I’m sure she’d be willing to pay the full amount too, if the special rate arranged for her wasn’t so appealing. ?1,375 for a palace, what a bargain! That’s the same amount my parents pay for their three-bedroom house in Scotland. Something doesn’t quite add up. Central London location, more bedrooms than I care to count, and still paying less than most people in Britain. Probably less than some people hit hardest by poverty. But they don’t mind, at least she pays it, right? Figures from the Queen’s accounts show that we each paid 52p towards the upkeep of the Royal Family last year.
The money is from taxes, which I am sure are supposed to go towards running vital public services that will benefit us. Do the Queen and family fit that bill? I suppose they provide a service of sorts: going out of their way to support charities and appear at important events, showing the nation what wonderful leadership we have. That’s around ?35 million per year we pay to keep Her Maj though, which could pay for any number of things, from a better justice system to better medical research to help save the lives of her people.
Surely she can see (with or without her glasses) that our taxes could be put to better use. Although, it’ll soon be more than 52p we’re spending, with the wonderful announcement of Kate and Wills expecting their first child. Someone else to splash out on. Two private consultants at the prestigious King Edward VII hospital examined Kate after being admitted with ‘hyperemesis gravidarum’ or acute morning sickness. It must have been very acute to warrant two consultants, each on a salary of around ?125,000 a year.
Surely, as professionals, it would have only taken one to confirm she was pregnant and it was causing her ill-health. All that attention and she’s not even blood-related to the Royals; she’s only married to the second-in-line. Perhaps it’s because this child, be it a boy or a girl, will one day be ruling our country. Then again, if their spending keeps spiralling, there won’t be much of a country to run. Maybe we can no longer afford the Royal family. Rather like Gran’s best china, they’re only brought out on special occasions to add some glamour.
The rest of the time they sit on a very grand shelf gathering dust until they are needed again. Then they must be polished at great expense by us to make sure they are looking magnificent for their sporadic appearances. Are the costs of storage and upkeep worth maintaining a traditionally nostalgic Britain on the rare instance that they are required to appear at an event? Cutting the budget for the Monarchy may need to be something that is considered soon, or else the Royals will find themselves out of the luxury they are so accustomed to.

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