Republic: luxury personal travel at taxpayers' expense highlights need to halt royal funding plans4th Jul 2011
As today's royal funding report reveals that Prince Charles spends thousands of pounds of taxpayers' money on personal travel, campaign group Republic has called on the government to halt plans to give the Queen a limitless annual grant.
Details of exorbitant travel costs were published by Buckingham Palace today, which highlight the danger of allowing the royal family a potentially limitless new annual grant.
The Royal Travel grant-in-aid 2010/11 report reveals the following details:
* Prince Charles and Camilla charged the taxpayer £29,786 for a return flight from Clarence House to Balmoral for a private 4 day break on which no public engagements were undertaken.
* Prince Charles chartered a flight to a UN environmental conference in Oslo with a £25,534 cost to the public purse.
* The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh's trip from London to Crewe cost £17,248, more than fifty times the cost of the most expensive standard ticket.
* A three day visit to Wales by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh's cost taxpayers £37,158.
* The Duke of York's trip to Italy and Central Asia cost £121,810 and his trip to the Middle East £88,612.
* The Duke of Kent charged the taxpayer £11,668 for a visit to Canada.
Proposals for the new sovereign support grant, which will come into effect next year, would tie the royal household's income - which would pay for royal travel - to 15 per cent of Crown Estate revenue. However, a controversial clause in the Bill would prevent the grant ever decreasing in cash terms and the Treasury has confirmed there will be no cap on the amount paid to the Queen each year.
Spokesperson Graham Smith said:
"Today's revelations demonstrate exactly why the new royal funding plans are so flawed. As Britons face deep cuts to public services and struggle with rising fuel prices, the Queen sees fit to charge us nearly twenty thousand pounds for a trip from London to Crewe. The Windsors are not just financially reckless - they are out of touch and out of control."
"Of course, the costs published today are just the tip of the iceberg - the true cost of the monarchy is likely to be over £200m each year. The royals know that but continue to mislead the public."
"The new sovereign grant would give the royals a limitless annual budget for them to fritter away on luxury travel. There will be more waste and less accountability. It's time for ministers to halt their plans, launch a full inquiry into royal spending and make their decision when we can see exactly what value the royals give us."
Republic recently released its "Value for money monarchy myth" report which showed the cost of the monarchy to be around £202.4m a year. The report can be found at www.republic.org.uk/royalfinances
Prince Charles will soon profit from Crown Estate land which gains considerable revenue from wind farms and other land deals. He also routinely secretly lobbies government on issues such as the environment, openning up questions of conflict of interest.
The government is proposing a new Sovereign Support Grant