Since not winning the 2010 election, the coalition government have cut funding to public services and welfare by tens of billions of pounds in the name of "reducing the deficit". George Osborne discussed selling off the majority state-owned RBS, having spent £60 billion to keep them afloat. The Ministry of Justice have had to make "savings" which means that they have been paying private security firm G4S to electronically tag dead British citizens. The NHS has been privatised for the first time in its history, with Mitt Romney's Bain Capital recently buying the UK supply of blood plasma. Despite the huge job losses resulting from cuts to the private sector, there has also been a cut to benefits in real terms, with the most recent budget extending the period that the unemployed have to wait for Jobseekers Allowance to five weeks.
Jobseekers Allowance cost Britain £4.91 billion in 2011/12. The DWP estimated that overall fraud in this period accounted for 0.7% of the benefits bill. This means that, on average, £34.4 million is lost from the budget by those fraudulently signing on (without accounting for the £1.3 billion of overall benefits that were underpaid during the same period). While the Conservatives are happy to cut services and welfare to the working poor and unemployed - in order to reduce a deficit caused by the reckless practices of millionaire bankers - they seem to have shied away from discussing the area of public spending most ripe for privatisation: the monarchy.
Spending on the monarchy in 2013/14 is set to rise by £3 million to an annual payment of £36 million. This yearly benefit payment is larger than the average amount lost on all of those fraudulently claiming JSA combined, and is being paid to a family who own land and property worth over £7.3 billion. They are also currently exempt from paying various taxes. Kate and William's son stands to inherit The Prince of Wales's Duchy of Cornwall estate, which is currently worth £763 million (avoiding around £305 million in inheritance tax), which will provide an income of £19 million (not liable to corporation and capital gains tax).
I'm not writing this article as an angry liberal arguing about the value of egalitarian, representative democracy; or the problems with having an inherited theocrat as Head of State. Instead, I wish to agree with the coalition government that the deficit needs to be reduced, more should be done to prevent the wasting of public money on those fraudulently claiming benefits, and tax loopholes that allow billionaires to avoid paying back into the system should be closed.
I therefore propose that the priority of the next government budget should be to privatise the monarchy. The Windsor's can still be the ceremonial Head of State, smash bottles on boats, walk around looking at things, have their faces on money, draw in tourism and all the while maintain that God bestowed the role upon their family. The only difference is that the royal family will have to dip into their vast personal wealth in order to fund their luxurious lifestyles - and pay their fair share of tax.
Meanwhile, the £36million that would be saved annually by privatising the monarchy could be put towards cutting the deficit, or could be spent on 1,159 nurses; 1,152 firefighters; 979 secondary school teachers; 968 paramedics; free tuition for 4,316 underprivileged students; annual electricity and gas for 25,351 households; or annual water bills for 92,783 households.
Republican taxpayers who are opposed to the idea of the monarchy will be appeased by no longer having to pay for them, and royalist taxpayers who enjoy all the pomp and ceremony surrounding the royal family would of course be welcome to write them a personal cheque for their services.
We are, of course, all in this together.