Daily Express

How the Queen costs taxpayers just 62p a year

- By Mark Reynolds CHARLES’ INCOME RISES TO £20.5M

THE Queen costs each of us just 5p a month, it was revealed yesterday.

Annual figures showed that the monarch’s income from the taxpayer – the Sovereign Grant – has risen £9million in four years to £40.1million.

With the UK population at 65.1 million, this means the Queen now costs each citizen about 62p a year, up from 59p 12 months ago.

The overall figure – which is set to rise again to £42.8million in 2016/17 – includes property maintenanc­e, travel by the Queen and the Royal Family, housekeepi­ng and hospitalit­y in the royal household and staff wages.

The true cost of running the monarchy is about £300million. This figure includes funding for security, royal ceremonies and local government costs for royal visits.

Palace officials last night said twothirds of the recent increase in the grant was to cover essential maintenanc­e of crumbling palaces.


Sir Alan Reid, Keeper of the Privy Purse, said it had been an important year for the Sovereign Grant “during which we have signalled our priority for the future by increasing the amount spent on property maintenanc­e”.

He said: “The Occupied Royal Palaces are a vital part of our national heritage and can only be preserved through sustained investment.”

However, the single biggest drain on the Queen’s resources remains the wage bill for her 431 household staff.

Last year, payroll costs were £19.5million, up from £18.7million, while “other staff costs” such as uniforms and expenses were £1.4million.

Property maintenanc­e rose from £11.7million to £16.3million.

Repairs in recent years include a £3.4 million refurbishm­ent of Apartment 1A at Kensington Palace – the London home of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, £900,000 on the lead roofing of the library at Windsor Castle and £800,000 for removing asbestos from the basement of Buckingham Palace.

The new figures also showed that The annual accounts also revealed that Prince Charles’s private income from his Duchy of Cornwall estate – a portfolio of land, property and financial investment­s – rose by three per cent to £20.5million during the last financial year.

His tax bill increased by £531,000 to just over £5million.

The accounts further showed that Charles’s three-day trip in April to Turkey to honour the centenary of the Gallipoli campaign cost about £75,500.

A number of internal “residence to residence” flights taken by Charles – accompanie­d by the Duchess of Cornwall – also cost around £15,000 each.

A summer trip by Charles from Windsor to Edinburgh on the royal train cost a further £19,617, the accounts show.

Another of Charles’s journeys on the royal train – from Ayr to Leeds prison and back to Scotland – cost £33,249.

And a royal train trip to a farming centre in Buxton from Scotland cost £21,863. the royal household’s total travel costs came to £4million – a fall of more than a million pounds.

But critics last night claimed the grant should be carefully monitored.

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “When public finances are in a dodgy state, no area of spending should be beyond scrutiny and that includes the royal funding agreement.

“With the formula up for review next year, it is important for those in charge to make sure every penny spent of taxpayers’ money can be justified.”

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