Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Sharing austerity

The loyal opposition suggests that the Royal households have not shared in the general program of government austerity enough (and that they haven't managed their finances very well).

UK lawmakers tell queen to cut costs, boost income
Britain’s royal household needs to get a little more entrepreneurial, eye possible staff cuts and replace an ancient palace boiler, lawmakers say in a new report.

The report published Tuesday on the finances of Queen Elizabeth II has exposed crumbling palaces and depleted coffers, and discovered that a royal reserve fund for emergencies is down to its last million pounds ($1.6 million)…

The committee said the royal household needed more cash to address a serious maintenance backlog on crumbling palaces…

Buckingham Palace (as seen by most tourists)
‘‘The boiler in Buckingham Palace is 60 years old,’’ committee chair Margaret Hodge told the BBC. ‘‘The household must get a much firmer grip on how it plans to address its maintenance backlog.’’

In words that have become familiar to Britons during five years of austerity, Hodge urged the royals ‘‘to do more with less.’’

The report pointed out that the royal household’s staff has remained largely static at just over 430 people in the last seven years, a period that has seen deep cuts to public spending and thousands of civil service layoffs…

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