Prince Charles: Is He Good Value For The UK Taxpayer?

Is Prince Charles Good Value For Money?

Clarence house has released the income and expenditure of the Prince of Wales with critics immediately pouncing on the increased amount the royal receives from the British taxpayer.

Figures released on Friday show that the Prince received £2,194,000 from the taxpayer last year, an increase of £232,000.

The bulk of the Prince's income comes from the Duchy of Cornwall estate, which boosts his income for the year to a rather healthy £19,758,000.

Prince Charles receives money from the taxpayer despite earning millions from his estate

His total outgoings for the year rose 5.4% to £12,250,000. The bulk of this, slightly less than £9,500,000, went towards covering the cost of official and charitable duties.

Last year also included the cost of the Royal Wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton. The full price of the nuptials was not disclosed as royal aides said it would be 'impolite' to tell as it was a private event (despite being classed as a 'semi-state occasion').

So is the Prince good value for money? In an era of austerity, should the taxpayer be funding the Prince, particularly when he earns such a large amount of private income?

The Prince voluntarily pays income tax on the money he earns, a hefty £4,398,000 last year, just under double what he receives from the taxpayer.

Graham Smith, Chief Executive Officer of the anti-Monarchy group Republic, thinks this is considerably less than what he should pay and criticised the Government's funding of the Prince's travel.

He said: "At a time when the country is facing sweeping cuts to public spending Charles Windsor wilfully helps himself to whatever travel funds he wants or feel he needs.

"This 'something-for-nothing' culture in the royal household must end. Where the government requests a royal makes an official trip the costs must be met directly by the relevant department. All other royal travel should be paid for by the royal family. Charles must not be free to spend whatever public money he likes when he likes."

A report by Brand Finance estimated that the Monarchy is worth a whopping £44bn to the country. Of this, £18bn is tied up in the value of jewels, castles and other tangible assets while the other £26bn comes from intangible assets such as the added value to British tourism.

David Haigh, chief executive and founder of Brand Finance Plc, said: "There’s little doubt that, as an institution, the monarchy adds significant annual earnings and long term economic value to the UK.

"Just the media coverage they generate internationally is worth hundreds of millions in free publicity for the country."

What do you think? Should the taxpayer continue to fund the Royals as they are good value for money, or should they have to go it alone?


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