Magazine article The Spectator

Our Sovereign Debt

Magazine article The Spectator

Our Sovereign Debt

Article excerpt

If the government were to grant an award to the public servant who has made the greatest effort over the past year to manage expenditure, Her Majesty the Queen would be a strong contender. The royal public finances, published this week, reveal that the cost of running the royal household has fallen over the past year by 5.3 per cent to ?2.1 million. Proportionally, the Queen has made more cuts in one year than George Osborne intends to do over five. The royal household is now costing the taxpayer less in absolute terms than it was in 2007.

Had the British government reduced its total costs by 5.3 per cent, the structural deficit would have been eliminated already - and the era of austerity ended. As things stand, monthly figures show new spending records being set. The cuts have not yet begun. Top salaries in the royal household have been frozen over the past year - in contrast to the promised public sector 'pay freeze', which has resulted in some town hall fat cats awarding themselves hefty pay rises regardless.

It is counter-intuitive that an unelected monarchy should act more wisely with public money than an elected government. But anyone who tries to argue that the monarchy is a drain on the taxpayer should look at the French model. The costs of running Nicolas Sarkozy's household have almost trebled since he entered the Elysee Palace. Those who dragged Marie Antoinette to the scaffold would be astonished to see the airs and graces acquired by the leaders of the Republic. One ruling class has replaced another.

In Britain, government officials feel a sense of entitlement that the monarchy demonstrably does not. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.