Not all that much really:
Annual results for the Crown Estate, published today, show the Queen\’s property has bounced back from the recession by increasing in value by £600m to £6.6bn in the year to March 31. This compares to an 18pc decline in the previous year as property values in the UK collapsed. The results mean the Queen\’s property has performed in line with private-sector property companies.
The Crown Estate will now pay its profits of £210.7m into the national coffers. This is a decline on the £226.5m of last year, mainly because of lower interest rates being earned on the capital reserves of the Crown Estate, which is prohibited by law from borrowing.
Mr Bright said: \”Our results should be read in the context of our obligation not to chase short-term income returns, and our statutory restrictions on borrowing, which increases our exposure to low interest rates.\”
The Crown Estate was created 250 years ago when George III surrendered profits from his property portfolio to the Government in exchange for a fixed annual payment from the Treasury, the Civil List.
Not all that much at all. The Civil List is currently £7.9 million a year.
It’s an odd system, isn’t it, whereby the Crown Estate is in reality ours (well, the government’s) but writer’s insist on calling it “the Queen’s property”? I suppose that “the Queen’s property ” is really stuff such as the Balmoral and Sandringham estates, unless those actually belong to Windsor family trusts.
I agree, dearieme. It’s why I think the new Government is right to try to simply what is a very confusing system of royal funding.
The real cost to the taxpayer of the Royal Family is more like £180 million a year, when you include security, general policing, local authority involvement in planning royal visits and the income of the two main heriditary estates, the Duchy of Lancaster (for the Queen) and Duchy of Cornwall (for the Prince of Wales) which would be passed over to the Treasury if we didn’t have a monarchy.
It’s a complete fallacy to equate the Crown Estate with the Queen. She has no involvement with the estate, whose surplus has been handed over to the Government since 1760 to reflect the fact the monarch is no longer responsible for paying for an Army, Navy, and the general business of running the country.
Set against all of that, of course, is the argument that the royals bring in far more for the exchequer in tourism revenue and trade deals than they ever cost in tax.
Please excuse my spelling mistakes: simplify for simply and hereditary for heriditary.
Surely the principle of sponging off the rest of us is the issue rather than the amount, no?
Matt, I’m pretty sure we spend more on dole bludgers and they don’t even put the odd show on for us.
Except that the thing appears to still run at a net profit! Having a “modern” presidential system is even more expensive, take a look at the cost of the Italian president (Who?) or some of the other “heads of state” who cost their taxpayers directly considerably more than this. Given the £7.9 million has been at this level for 20 years, perhaps we could expect the same level for our current government and local councils.
The system may not be perfect but it is considerably “less worse” than the alternatives and much, much cheaper.
How much does the Italian president cost? More than £180 million a year?
I am not the best at mathematics, but if I figured correctly it is arguable that rather than costing the “taxpayer” 62p a year, the Crown Estate relieves the British taxpayer of the cost of the Civil List plus about 15.5 GBP per person this year.
The Crown Estate certainly is not “ours”- i.e. the People’s (whoever they may be). The House of Commons Public Accounts Committee re-iterated the CEs status as “heriditary properties of the Sovereign” but “in right of the Crown”, not as personal property.
The cost of security has never been officially disclosed. Certain revenues from the two duchies are taxed (read their websites and the Official Memorandum of 1993 concerning The Queen’s decision to voluntarily make a payment to HM (i.e. her) Exchequer in lieu of taxes). And The Prince of Wales pays taxes as well (as do ALL members of HM family). So the figure of GBP180 million is pure conjecture, and based on error and the deeply entrenched belief that ‘the Royals’ are ‘up to something’ at the expense of the poor taxpayer.
The well-attested British obsession with ‘other people’s money’ coupled with envy and hypocrisy, also has a lot to do with the criticism of the Royal finances. Compared to other countries (the USA for example) the Palace and Clarence House, AND the two Duchies are models of transparency.
I quite agree Obo, but I’d be happy to do away with both the vultures above and the leaches below, regardless of their entertainment value!