UK

Queen To Get 8% 'Pay Rise' After Royal Estate Profits Soar - But Public Sector Workers Have No Such Luck

Things look fairly different for nurses and firefighters.

27/06/2017 11:15 BST

The Queen’s income from public funds is set to rise by 8%, to help fund the renovation of Buckingham Palace.

This is to the frustration of many, who have noted that public sector workers have had to endure a 1% salary increase cap.

This applies to those including:

  • Doctors

  • Nurses

  • Firefighters

  • Paramedics

  • Soldiers

  • Police officers

Ending the public sector pay freeze was found to be a priority for many Tory voters in a huge GQR poll, conducted in the wake of the general election for the TUC, it was revealed earlier this week.

So unsurprisingly the news of more funds for the Queen left many angry...

In 2018/19, the monarch will receive a Sovereign Grant - royal expenses funded by the taxpayer - of £82.2m.

This is a rise of more than £6 million, boosted by a sharp increase in Crown Estate profits.

The Sovereign Grant covers salaries of household staff, official travel and the upkeep of the Queen’s palaces.

Since 2012, the grant has been fixed at 15% of Crown Estate profit, but this was lifted by the government last year to fund extensive renovations on Buckingham Palace.

Between 2017 and 2027, it will rise to 25%.

PA Wire/PA Images
The Crown Estate has seen a boost in profits

The royal accounts revealed that profits of the Crown Estate, which owns swathes of property in London’s West End as well as thousands acres of countryside, totalled £328.8m in the year to the end of March 2017, an 8% increase on the previous year.

Wind farms were among the assets will helped bump up profit, identified as a “key driver” making £27.7 million.

Accounts also revealed that the Royal Family spent £4.5m on travel, including a £154,000 trip for Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall for a week-long trip to Romania, Italy and Austria on the state Voyager jet, as well as a £18,690 bill for travel to Plymouth on the royal train by Prince Philip.

The spending was defended by aides, who said that the Royal Family was “value for money”.

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 65p - the cost of a first-class postage stamp.

He said: “When you consider that against what the queen does and represents for this country, I believe it represents excellent value for money.”

sjhaytov via Getty Images
Millions are being spent on renovating Buckingham Palace

Anti-monarchy group Republic called for the Sovereign Grant to be overhauled.

Republic’s CEO, Graham Smith, 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% 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.”