PAC criticises Treasury over Queen's finances

The Parliamentary Accounts Committee (PAC) has criticised the Treasury’s handling of the Queen’s finances, after it revealed her Reserve Fund was left with an “historic low” £1m this year.

The committee identified three areas in which the Royal Household and Treasury “failed” in its financial management and planning.

“The Queen has not been served well by the Household and by the Treasury, which is responsible for effective scrutiny of the Household’s financial planning and management.

“We believe that The Treasury has a duty to be actively involved in reviewing the Household’s financial planning and ...

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Shocking    4 thanks

chatman | | Permalink

Or they could just suggest she lives in an appropriately sized home like the rest of us.

carnmores's picture

chatman has issues - breaking news...    1 thanks

carnmores | | Permalink

i saw these numpties on the parliamentary channel they really need a kick up the bckside - they had no idea what building repairs would cost and had no budget doh

Andy Reeves's picture

Bedroom tax    6 thanks

Andy Reeves | | Permalink

Should we apply the same rules to the Royal Family as to any other benefit claimants.

Republicans    4 thanks

hiu612 | | Permalink

£31m grant to keep the monarchy, or become a republic and take on a president and become more like the US. . . Money well spent.

Republicans

hiu612 | | Permalink

£31m grant to keep the monarchy, or become a republic and take on a president and become more like the US. . . Money well spent.

carnmores's picture

@Andy

carnmores | | Permalink

no , and perhaps you would want to keep working well into your 90s like DoE.

Working? Really?    4 thanks

chatman | | Permalink

carnmores wrote:
no , and perhaps you would want to keep working well into your 90s like DoE.

"working"?

Time for change's picture

The choice between    2 thanks

Time for change | | Permalink

Her Majesty and the likes of Margaret Hodge?

There is no contest in my humble opinion. Why, oh why, is Madam Hodge, so high profile? She's an MP at the end of the day, no more and no less.

I have absolute admiration for the Royal Family, without which, we would be just another island.

AWEB- you could do with the old smell checker for the headline? But you're all tresure's aren't you?

Andy Reeves's picture

Working my ar5e!    5 thanks

Andy Reeves | | Permalink


If that is what you call "working", then I would be happy to continue until my dying breath.

Time for change's picture

One of the joys of living where we do.....    2 thanks

Time for change | | Permalink

we're all entitled to our own opinions.

Equality?    2 thanks

chatman | | Permalink

Time for change wrote:
One of the joys of living where we do.....we're all entitled to our own opinions.

Although not all equally entitled to propagate them.

Hodge sound bites    5 thanks

Ian McTernan CTA | | Permalink

Another headline grabbing sound bite from spinmaster Hodges, attacking the Royal finances.

By the way, anyone who thinks the Royals have an easy life, try checking out how many engagements they are required to attend per annum, and how much income they generate for the country.  Opting out or retiring isn't really an option either...

On top of this, the Sovereign Estate generates a lot more money, but the Royals only receive (as from next year) 15% of the income (previously the figure was a set amount) with the rest being pocketed by the Govt.

Attacking the repairs backlog when there isn't the budget for them?  Then criticising the fact the repairs have not been done?

The royal household does need a shake up, as too many have been in position for too long, but what it really needs is a decent budget fit for the modern world.  They should draw up a full list of everything that needs doing or will need doing for the next 5 years and ask Hodges to approve the full £100m or more that will be required, and she can personally oversee the entire budget and run the repair operation, and be fully responsible for any over shooting of costs.

But like most of Labour, they are good at soundbites and criticism but terrible at actually running things, so they will continue to yap away while the real world gets things done.

Right to an opinion    1 thanks

chatman | | Permalink

Time for change wrote:
we're all entitled to our own opinions.

English historian, G.M. Young, said that schools should teach: "a man has no more right to an opinion for which he cannot account than to a pint of beer for which he cannot pay"

Show us the evidence    4 thanks

chatman | | Permalink

Ian McTernan CTA wrote:
anyone who thinks the Royals have an easy life, try checking out how many engagements they are required to attend per annum, and how much income they generate for the country

Give us the references, and we will check them out, as you suggest. Until then, we will assume that they do very little work and generate no significant income for the UK.

Mark Bolland, former press officer for Prince Charles, was quoted on Janet Street Porter's BBC programme in 2005 as saying "the Windsors are very good at working three days a week, five months of a year and making it look as though they work hard" .

k743snx's picture

Royal finances

k743snx | | Permalink

Sounds to me like a case of the House of Pots calling the Queen Kettle black.

Hold Hard!    1 thanks

Michael C Feltham | | Permalink

There is, inevitably, a significant conflation of argument herein...

HM The Queen's personal wealth is estimated at around $500,000,000.

http://www.therichest.com/celebnetworth/politician/royal/queen-elizabeth...

Until quite recently, the Duchy of Lancaster enjoyed the absolute right to seize property when the owner dies intestate: which happens quite often in the UK.

Whilst I did much respect Her Majesty, I do not and cannot have any respect for the legion of leeches and hanger on'ers by which she is surrounded and draw their living from the Queen's Purse.

Does Her Majesty really need Balmoral, Sandringham, Buck House, Windsor Castle, St. James's Palace et al, to survive?

Britain is presently suffering the result of utter slavering socio-economic incompetence, from alleged, politicians since Churchill. And as a consequence, the whole fabric of the nation state is crumbling at an accelerating rate.

Do we really need parades of "chocolate box" soldiers?

From my perspective, a resounding no.

It is surely time to forget the heady days of empire and create a robust democracy suitable to forge forwards in the 21st siecle.

Sadly, and I speak as a robust monarchist of years gone by, any worthy respect one might have enjoyed for the sanctity and value of monarchy was destroyed and adulterated by a series of lightweights, from Diana, thru Sarah Ferguson and the rest who behaved and behave as if they are celebs.

The essence of Noblesse Obligé is forgotten: and the essential dignity which ought to be part of the ethic.

As for Mrs Hodge: a most interesting case!

A woman who trumpets indignation about tax avoidance and other supposed travesties, but who simultaneously personally benefits hugely from the inheritance of her late father's tax avoiding transnational steel company............

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/businesslatestnews/9668396/Margaret-H...

 

 

Bedroom Tax    4 thanks

LesDes | | Permalink

As technically all the Royal Family are on benefits should we consider applying the "bedroom tax to them she must have 50 or 60 bedrooms - that would help the Country!!

God Save The Queen    1 thanks

Adam Syddall | | Permalink

Chatman,

Would you really want a here today gone tommorow politician as our head of state? The queen and her family are respected and admired throughout the world - which is more than can be said for some of our more recent Prime Ministers and world leaders. The fact you are quoting two journalists having a chin wag on a notoriously left-wing television channel somewhat gives your game away. 

The UK is the 8th biggest tourist destination in the world. Overseas visitors spend around £20 billion a year in this country and contribute around £6 billion a year to the exchequer. Foreign visitors tend to focus on London for some reason?......Combined with domestic tourism the industry is worth £127 billion a year.  

Just how much of this is attributable to the Royal Family is of course unquantifiable but I would suggest a £35 million grant to keep the royal family functioning is actually inadequate. The queen alone carries out 450 royal engagements a year in her late eighties.

Can I suggest you are a misguided ideologue. Mine's a bitter, thanks.

 

@Adam Syddall re claims about the royal family    3 thanks

chatman | | Permalink

Adam Syddall wrote:
Would you really want a here today gone tommorow [sic] politician as our head of state?

Is this a serious question? What is your point?

Adam Syddall wrote:
The queen and her family are respected and admired throughout the world
Have you any evidence to support this claim?

Adam Syddall wrote:
The fact you are quoting two journalists having a chin wag on a notoriously left-wing television channel somewhat gives your game away.

This is the BBC we are talking about - the state broadcaster. Notoriously left wing? Again, can you provide any evidence for this claim?

Adam Syddall wrote:
The UK is the 8th biggest tourist destination in the world. Overseas visitors spend around £20 billion a year in this country and contribute around £6 billion a year to the exchequer. Foreign visitors tend to focus on London for some reason?......Combined with domestic tourism the industry is worth £127 billion a year. 

What has all this got to do with the monarchy?

Adam Syddall wrote:
Just how much of this is attributable to the Royal Family is of course unquantifiable

My point exactly, so why are you obfuscating the relevant facts with it?

Adam Syddall wrote:
but I would suggest a £35 million grant to keep the royal family functioning is actually inadequate.
Yes, I know you would, but unless you can actually offer some evidence in support of your opinion, it is of no use to anyone.

Adam Syddall wrote:
Can I suggest you are a misguided ideologue.

Of course you can, but unless you have some sort of argument to back up your suggestion, who would you bother wasting your own and everybody else's time?

Can I suggest that you are completely unable to support your outrageous claims, and that if you were able to do so, you would have done? Really, did you not read my quote from G M Young?

President Kinnock, now that    1 thanks

Dutchnick | | Permalink

President Kinnock, now that would have been a winner! Hard to justify the Royals on democratic terms but they work and are popular and for a couple of quid a year they are pretty good value.

More on the royals    4 thanks

chatman | | Permalink

Dutchnick wrote:
Hard to justify the Royals on democratic terms
Agreed.

Dutchnick wrote:
but they work
In what sense?

Dutchnick wrote:
for a couple of quid a year they are pretty good value.
It is not a couple of quid a year; it is millions. How could it be good value, when we could pay someone to do the same job for £60k pa?

ShirleyM's picture

The £35M does not include security    2 thanks

ShirleyM | | Permalink

Security is paid on top of the £35M. I wonder what that costs, and what else we pay for? All the pageantry is extra to the £35M, and it's that which brings in the tourists, and also the historic side of Britain and it's architecture.

How many of you who go to Athens, or other places, go to see their monarchy. That's right .. no-one. How many of you go to London to see the Queen?

We don't need them, and while the Queen has been a good ambassador for Britain I'm afraid the next lot will be a worse option than any politician. We can get rid of politicians but we will be stuck with useless Royals forever.

Mine's a bitter?

chatman | | Permalink

Adam Syddall wrote:
Mine's a bitter, thanks.

I must admit, I have no idea what that is about.

carnmores's picture

talk about off topic!

carnmores | | Permalink

that used to be a chocolate bar

listerramjet's picture

Shame on you Hodge

listerramjet | | Permalink

Personally I thought this was a disgusting and ill thought out report.  The best response I have seen is here

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jacobreesmogg/100257266/the-queen-didn...

Also puts paid to the falsehoods about what the Monarchy costs as set out in the comments here.  Having and expressing opinions is fine, but at least check your facts first!

The dangers of believing what you read in the papers.    2 thanks

chatman | | Permalink

listerramjet wrote:
Also puts paid to the falsehoods about what the Monarchy costs as set out in the comments here. 

Are you referring to Rees Mogg's claims that the queen is entitled to the income from the Crown Estates? In fact, the Crown Estate is not the personal property of the monarch and the queen is not entitled to receive any monies from it. The source of the confusion comes from the fact that a small part of the existing Crown Estate portfolio was the property of the monarch before the end of the 18th century, when the king had responsibility for the expenses of civil government. But this changed once the state (the Crown) and the person of the monarch became separate during the reign of George III. Since then the Crown Estate has been the 'hereditary possessions of the Sovereign', not the personal possessions of the individual acting as Sovereign. Because this arrangement has to be formally repeated at the outset of each reign, some monarchists assert that a new monarch could claim the revenue for themselves. In fact, this 'renewal' is a formality and was described in 1952 by Burke Trend, a senior Treasury official, as 'simply a historical relic from much earlier days'. If the monarchy were to disappear tomorrow, the Crown Estate would continue to do what it has always done for nearly one thousand years - provide income for the administration of this country.

listerramjet wrote:
Having and expressing opinions is fine, but at least check your facts first!

My sentiments exactly.

listerramjet's picture

hello chapman

listerramjet | | Permalink

we are never going to agree - but I would at least expect you to not take my comments out of context.

@listeramjet - Sorry    1 thanks

chatman | | Permalink

I do apologise listeramjet; I did not do so intentionally. Which comments were taken out of context?

I don't see why we can't agree on something if we debate properly. Surely that is what debate is all about.

Andy Reeves's picture

Goodbye Queenie    4 thanks

Andy Reeves | | Permalink

Frankly, the argument as to whether or not the Royal Family is value for money (and my opinion is that it isn't) is irrelevant to the democratic issue. It is the 21st century, not the 15th, and having to treat some citizens (the Windsors) as better than others by virtue of their family lineage is abhorrent.

As regards the suggested "personal fortune" of the queen/family, just how do you think they got that in the first place? They stole/requisitioned/taxed it from others. It isn't hers/theirs, it is ours.

The UK does not need the Royal Family for tourism, as people come to see the architecture, not the people (who aren't on show at home anyway). The French managed to solve their monarchy problem quite well, yet visitors still flock to Versailles, etc.

Time for change's picture

You really couldn't make it up,could you?

Time for change | | Permalink

 

The French managed to solve their monarchy problem quite well, yet visitors still flock to Versailles, etc

And, then they elected President Hollande. Enough said, I think?

Plus ca Change.........    4 thanks

Michael C Feltham | | Permalink

Time for change wrote:

 

The French managed to solve their monarchy problem quite well, yet visitors still flock to Versailles, etc

And, then they elected President Hollande. Enough said, I think?

Who is not ensconced in the Elyse for life: accompanied by a host of his children, children's children, cousins, second cousins and the rest.

 

Time for change's picture

Whilst I completely respect the views of many "opponents"    1 thanks

Time for change | | Permalink

in this thread, why do so many people

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/theroyalfamily/10206708/Confidence-in-British-monarchy-at-all-time-high-poll-shows.html

still have so much (66%) faith in the present arrangement?

Why do so many people support the status quo?    3 thanks

chatman | | Permalink

@ Time for change - Because the establishment propaganda machine is so powerful.

ShirleyM's picture

If a Queen or King was so necessary, or profitable ..    3 thanks

ShirleyM | | Permalink

... then every country would have one.

I didn't see France decide that they were better off when they had a Monarch, or any other country that got rid of theirs. Why not?

Australia have it right ... they borrow ours, don't pay for them, and can get rid whenever they want.

Time for change's picture

Is this based on conjecture

Time for change | | Permalink

chatman wrote:

@ Time for change - Because the establishment propaganda machine is so powerful.

or, hard and fast evidence (source)?

Added to Which..........    4 thanks

Michael C Feltham | | Permalink

The Royal Family are not even British!

Obviously, being called summat like Battenburg Saxe-Coburg von Gotha wouldn't have played too well in 1914.....

 

The power of the propaganda machine    4 thanks

chatman | | Permalink

Time for change wrote:
Is this based on conjecture

or, hard and fast evidence (source)?

A bit of both. Of course there can be no way of quantifying how much people are influenced by propaganda, but the amount of resources poured into it by regimes from Stalin to Hitler to the UK Labour and Conservative parties and their paymasters would indicate that those producing it believe that it works. The government obviously felt propaganda was effective in manipulating public opinion in 1984 when the BBC edited footage to make a police charge against striking miners look like the miners charging the police. Otherwise why would they have bothered?

Opinion polls show large falls in public support for the welfare state when a government runs a campaign against social security benefits, and charities for the disabled have reported increased attacks on the disabled since sickness benefit was targeted.

The Sun headline "It's The Sun wot won it", after the 1992 general election shows what Rupert Murdoch, one of the most powerful media magnates in the world thinks of the propaganda power of the media.

Having dealt with the power of the establishment-owned media, let's look at their reporting of the royal family. How often do we hear the option of a republic discussed? How often do we hear how wonderful the royal family is and how often do we hear criticism of them? Even of Prince Andrew? Monarchist view such as those on this thread are often heard in the mainstream media, but how often do you hear views resembling mine or those of Michael C Feltham, Andy Reeves or ShirleyM?

That is what has led me to the conclusion that support for the royal family is engineered by the establishment. Why else would people support them? This thread shows there are no good reasons for doing so.

ShirleyM's picture

@Chatman    3 thanks

ShirleyM | | Permalink

 The government obviously felt propaganda was effective in manipulating public opinion in 1984 when the BBC edited footage to make a police charge against striking miners look like the miners charging the police. Otherwise why would they have bothered?

I'm so glad you mentioned that. The police were quite brutal, but it was all hushed up by parliament & the police and the blame laid on the miners.

Just for clarity, I have nothing against the Queen. I am opposed to all hereditary titles. It is the 21st century, and being a monarch, or a Lord, or any other hereditary title or position, should not be bestowed on any person merely because of something their great great grandfather did, or was!

 

Do away with honours list ...    5 thanks

JC | | Permalink

In this age where a great many honours are simply political bribes and elevation to the Lord's is simply a standard thank you for screwing up the economy, it is probably time to call it a day with any annual honours list

By all means have 'one off' awards for bravery etc. but the annual round of baksheesh should probably stop; after all the entire process has become so devalued as to make it worthless

baksheesh    1 thanks

chatman | | Permalink

JC wrote:
baksheesh

Great word. Had to look it up, but I'm going to start using it now.

Inherited wealth and the something-for-nothing-culture    1 thanks

chatman | | Permalink

ShirleyM wrote:
being a monarch, or a Lord, or any other hereditary title or position, should not be bestowed on any person merely because of something their great great grandfather did, or was!

Same goes for wealth. Why should someone be rich just because their parents were?

More than just hushed up    2 thanks

chatman | | Permalink

ShirleyM wrote:

The government obviously felt propaganda was effective in manipulating public opinion in 1984 when the BBC edited footage to make a police charge against striking miners look like the miners charging the police. Otherwise why would they have bothered?

I'm so glad you mentioned that. The police were quite brutal, but it was all hushed up by parliament & the police and the blame laid on the miners

"hushed up" is an understatement Shirley; there was an active government-driven black propaganda campaign. Remember all those unfounded allegations against Arthur Scargill? And you can't get much more dishonest than doctoring footage and distributing it on the government TV channel.

ShirleyM's picture

Too true, Chatman    2 thanks

ShirleyM | | Permalink

Scargill has been vindicated regarding the 'secret hit list'.

I've suspected all along (but had no proof) that Maggie manouvered Scargill into national strike action, but the idiot was too blind to see it. She wanted to turn the UK population against the miners, and she succeeded. I wouldn't be surprised if she deliberately made the secret hit list known to Scargill.

It would be fair justice if all the other government lies, cheating, and dishonest manipulation of the facts were to come out into the open, too.The police were pretty lawless in those days, with the cover ups of the police actions during the miners strike and Hillsboro. I wonder who made the decision to suppress the truth?

Lawless police    2 thanks

chatman | | Permalink

ShirleyM wrote:
The police were pretty lawless in those days

Not like these days, as Ian Tomlinson, Jean Charles de Menezes and Stephen Lawrence would tell you if they were still alive. I mean they would never spend taxpayers money to infiltrate a legitimate environmental campaigning group or dedicate officers to fitting up Stephen Lawrence's friends would they?

@ Shirley    1 thanks

mbdx7ja2 | | Permalink

ShirleyM wrote:

... then every country would have one.

I didn't see France decide that they were better off when they had a Monarch, or any other country that got rid of theirs. Why not?

Australia have it right ... they borrow ours, don't pay for them, and can get rid whenever they want.

Your argument makes little sense - you could say the same about the NHS - if it really was the envy of the world, why does no other country copy it?  I don't think the lack of copying really constitutes an argument here as you can't just bring an institution with a history of over 1,000 years into existence overnight.

And regarding France - it took them over 100 years post-revolution for a genuine movement to reinstate the monarchy (which was not simply supported by the few nobility, but a wider popular movement) to go away and the Republic to be cemented.  Germany lost their royal family when they lost WW1, and most other European countries I thought still have a monarchy.

 

Aye! There's the rub!    2 thanks

Michael C Feltham | | Permalink

mbdx7ja2]</p> <p>[quote=ShirleyM wrote:

  Germany lost their royal family when they lost WW1, and most other European countries I thought still have a monarchy.

One of my much treasured research books, is titled "The Secrets of the Gotha"; which tabulates the European monarchy and includes a super family tree.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Secrets-Gotha-Private-Families-Europe/dp/1566190...

A Kindle version is available: read it!

Which shows how ALL European "Royals" are interrelated.

It was and what remains is still a franchise.

Michael Palin's priceless comments in Holy Grail sums it all up rather well.

Which in itself, is rather frightening: that we must turn to hugely cynical farce for effective pragmatism and sanity!

"Dennis: Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government.  Supreme executive power
 derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.
  ARTHUR:  Be quiet!
  DENNIS:  Well you can't expect to wield supreme executive power just 'cause some watery tart threw a sword at you!
  ARTHUR:  Shut up!
  DENNIS:  I mean, if I went around sayin' I was an emperor, just because some moistened bint had lobbed a scimitar at me they'd put me away!"

Police Lawlessness    1 thanks

chatman | | Permalink

ShirleyM wrote:
The police were pretty lawless in those days

More on modern-day police lawlessness http://www.monbiot.com/2014/02/03/bring-it-on/

Treason

gm@moco.co.uk | | Permalink

Michael C Feltham, Andy Reeves, ShirleyM and Chatman. You all seem to have the same views with regards to the Monarchy. The way I see it, some of the things you are saying would be regarded as treason. If you don't like, leave the country and move to a state such as France, Italy or Greece and see how better theirs lives and Government's are. You should be proud of your heritage. Have you not got parents and grandparents that fought in a war for the good of our country, serving the Monarchy. How many soldiers would be willing to serve an ever changing government????? And what on earth has the miners strike got to do with the Monarchy???

Treason in the interests of the country.    3 thanks

chatman | | Permalink

<a href="mailto:gm@moco.co.uk" rel="nofollow">gm@moco.co.uk</a> wrote:
Michael C Feltham, Andy Reeves, ShirleyM and Chatman. You all seem to have the same views with regards to the Monarchy.
There's a lot of us about. You just don't hear our views represented on the news.

<a href="mailto:gm@moco.co.uk" rel="nofollow">gm@moco.co.uk</a> wrote:
The way I see it, some of the things you are saying would be regarded as treason.
So what?

<a href="mailto:gm@moco.co.uk" rel="nofollow">gm@moco.co.uk</a> wrote:
If you don't like, leave the country and move to a state such as France, Italy or Greece and see how better theirs lives and Government's are.
Why should I leave my country? Why can't they go back to Germany? OK, I accept Prince Harry doesn't have German roots, but the others do.

<a href="mailto:gm@moco.co.uk" rel="nofollow">gm@moco.co.uk</a> wrote:
You should be proud of your heritage.
Why? I think you should be proud of things you have achieved, not things you inherited.

 

<a href="mailto:gm@moco.co.uk" rel="nofollow">gm@moco.co.uk</a> wrote:
Have you not got parents and grandparents that fought in a war for the good of our country, serving the Monarchy.
My granddad fought in WWII to fight fascism, not to fight for the royal family. He fought the country that your beloved Saxe-Coburg-Gothas come from.

<a href="mailto:gm@moco.co.uk" rel="nofollow">gm@moco.co.uk</a> wrote:
How many soldiers would be willing to serve an ever changing government?????
Exactly the same number as do currently. Our government does change, although not very noticeably, I admit.

<a href="mailto:gm@moco.co.uk" rel="nofollow">gm@moco.co.uk</a> wrote:
And what on earth has the miners strike got to do with the Monarchy???
The link was the establishment-owned propaganda machine. Have a read of the thread.

Now, are there any pro-monarchy arguments on this thread that have not been comprehensively refuted? I assume all contributors are now republicans then.

ShirleyM's picture

I would like to say ...    3 thanks

ShirleyM | | Permalink

... exactly what chatman said.  :)

Heritage ... includes slavery, fox hunting, serfs, sexual discrimination, racism, and lots of other things we have got rid of (or are trying to). Let's bring the UK into the 21st century by getting rid of the monarchy.

I think we would be doing them a favour. I'm sure none of them really like having their 'duties' mapped out before they are even born, and am sure they would like to choose their own direction.

EDIT: by the way, speaking up against the monarchy is NOT treason. We speak for our country, which we love, We are not requesting the Queen be put to death. We just don't want a monarch .... any monarch .... whoever they may be.

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