The Buckingham Palace repair bill was previously revealed to top an enormous £369M. However, the annual report of palace finances has revealed that British taxpayers paid over £100M towards the refurbishment last year alone.
- It has been revealed that the Sovereign Grant, paid by the UK's taxpayers, increased by 17% last year.
- Despite many arguing that the Royal Family is an economic asset to the UK, there's been an outcry from those horrified at the figure.
- In other royal news, The reason why the Queen ‘never really liked’ Buckingham Palace and was always ‘whizzing off’ to Windsor
The taxpayer-funded part of the Royal Family's income, called the Sovereign Grant, is an often contentious topic among UK residents. Despite the Royal Household having spent £16.1M more than it earned from the annual grant, the astronomical figure for the Buckingham Palace repair bill has received a negative backlash.
BBC News (opens in new tab)reports that the Sovereign Grant for 2021/2022 was set for £86.3M (£1.29 per person in the UK) - not including security costs, which are kept confidential. However, last year's amount rose to £102.4M. In other words, an increase of 17%.
ITV News (opens in new tab) reports that the Keeper of the Privy Purse, who controls the royal finances, Sir Michael Stevens explained the reasoning for the increase was the ongoing Buckingham Palace repair bill. He said, "There was a significant increase in work against a hard deadline to enable Buckingham Palace to be at the center of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations."
In perhaps a not-so-surprising turn of events, this news has split opinions - with many people wondering why such an enormous amount was footed by the UK taxpayer. Especially in light of the cost of living crisis, the ongoing impact of the UK government's austerity measures, the pandemic, and the ongoing war in Ukraine.
Author, lawyer, political and women's rights activist Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu (opens in new tab)tweeted about the report, laying out why she's so appalled by the news.
What work did the Royal Family do in Lockdown that warranted £100m & WHY would Buckingham Palace REPAIRS go ahead when MANY couldn’t heat homes, kids lived off school lunches, families fed from food banks & stripped of Universal Credit uplift?Insult to the British taxpayers. pic.twitter.com/Gi6fUnwbxUJune 30, 2022
Arguments for the Royal Family receiving this grant say that they're vital for the UK's tourism and an important part of the country's history. They also argue that they pay taxes on their personal wealth, which contributes to the UK's economy.
The annual report of palace finances, which also showed the cost of Prince William and Kate Middleton's 'disastrous' Caribbean tour, is a stark contrast to a recent survey.
The devastating ONS (opens in new tab)survey revealed how many UK residents are suffering at this time. To be precise, 77% of people over 16 reported they feel, "very or somewhat worried about the rising cost of living." Worse still, of these respondents, 50% said they worry, “nearly every day."
Aoife is Junior News Editor at woman&home.
She's an Irish journalist and writer with a background in creative writing, comedy, and TV production.
Formerly Aoife was a contributing writer at Bustle and her words can be found in the Metro, Huffpost, Delicious, Imperica, EVOKE and her poetry features in the Queer Life, Queer Love anthology.
Outside of work you might bump into her at a garden center, charity shop, hot yoga studio, lifting heavy weights, or (most likely) supping/eating some sort of delicious drink/meal.
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