Campaign group Republic has responded to the news that the royal household will receive an extra GBP 6m after a new system for funding the monarchy came into force. The new annual payment - known as the sovereign support grant - fixes the amount the Queen receives at 15% of the profits from the Crown Estate, a publicly-owned property portfolio. Republic's chief executive Graham Smith said: "The sovereign support grant is a monumental stitch-up. It is absurd and immoral that while every other public body is forced to rein in its spending, the royal household is given yet more taxpayers' cash." "George Osborne clearly believes that the Queen and her family should be shielded from the economic realities that the rest of us have to face. The Windsors must learn to live within their means just like everyone else." "The Crown Estate is not – and never has been – the personal property of the royals. The Queen has no more right to its revenue than I do. To claim that it should fund their lavish lifestyle is deceitful and dishonest." "The office of the head of state should be funded like every other public body– through a budget agreed by Parliament and based on need."

NOTES The sovereign support grant has been set at GBP 36m, but this official figure excludes a range of hidden costs. Republic estimates the total cost of the monarchy to be more than £200m.