(Photo from : Evening Standard)
Can you believe it? The Queen will be getting a complete refurbishment of Buckingham Palace, costing around £369 million and we are going to be paying for it! Well no, not exactly. This is the controversial and typical media spin that most newspapers have led the general public to believe this past week. However looking more closely at the real business and economics behind this it’s quite clear that this is not the case; so give big Liz a break.
Firstly the Queen is the most taxed person not only in England but in the whole world, paying 85% tax on all ‘profits’ she makes. The average person will only pay between 20% and 40%, so it’s certainly not comparable. Last year she contributed a record £304.1 million to HM Treasury, which then went to help fund all of our services. Secondly the Queen is of course a wealthy women but her personal wealth is not extraordinary and she does still have to pay for her own tea and crumpets. All royal property and artefacts belong to the Monarch, not to Mrs. E Windsor personally. When any profit is made is made from the selling or use of royal property this doesn’t then go into the Queen’s silk lined pocket, it goes to the crown estate. This is then taxed by 85% and any remaining profit goes to the daily maintenance of palace which will then include the Queen’s personal salary, as well as any state events or functions. At the end of the day you never see the Queen on Forbes billionaire lists.
The media is claiming that it will be ordinary tax payer’s money that will be going towards the refurb of the palace. What is actually happening is that they are reducing the amount that the monarch gets taxed by 10%, so she still will be paying a hefty 75% of tax. The spin that papers such as the Sun have taken is that the sovereign grant has been increased by 66% but they have completely disregarded where this money has actually come from. This has unsurprisingly allowed for a whole lot of hate to be directed towards the royal family and fuelled anti-royalist campaigns to dissolve the monarchy all together. I understand that the royal family may not be everyone’s cup of tea but it cannot be disputed that they contribute a lot towards the country’s GDP, besides you can’t deny Prince George’s cuteness.
21st century royals don’t just live the lavish lifestyle, charity work is almost like a full time job for them. It has been estimated that that the Queen helps bring in about 1.4 billion pounds a year for charities. On top of that there are so many charities that the royals have actually set up themselves from Queen Elizabeth’s Foundation for Disabled People to providing mental health services to military veterans. The British public definitely benefits from the royals whether it be with the charity work they do or the massive revenues they bring in. They bring character to the country and even if you don’t particularly like them I’m sure you don’t mind the national holidays when someone gets married or the Queen celebrates getting really old. The papers have also conveniently forgot to mention that the Houses of Parliament will be getting £2 billion for repair, which will be coming from tax payers money. The palace is 313 years old after all so shouldn’t we let the Queen redecorate, considering she will technically be paying for it herself.
By Shona Augustinus