UK lawmakers tell queen to cut costs, boost income - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

UK lawmakers tell queen to cut costs, boost income

Posted: Updated:
A report by British lawmakers into the finances of the queen 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). (Photo: AP) A report by British lawmakers into the finances of the queen 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). (Photo: AP)

By JILL LAWLESS
Associated Press

LONDON (AP) - 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).

Legislators on the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee urged royal officials to adopt a more commercial approach and suggested opening up Buckingham Palace to visitors more often.

The panel said the royal household needed more cash to address a serious maintenance backlog on crumbling palaces. It said at least 39 percent of royal buildings - and probably more - were in an unacceptable state, "with some properties in a dangerous or deteriorating condition."

"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.

Hodge, a Labour Party lawmaker, said Buckingham Palace was only open to the public 78 days a year, drawing half a million visitors, and suggested that boosting visitor numbers could help raise funds.

"We think a little bit of a more commercial approach by those who are responsible for serving the queen would serve her better in garnering more income," Hodge said.

The queen received 31 million pounds ($51 million) from taxpayers in 2012-2013, but Hodge said the monarch "has not been served well by the household and by the Treasury," which is responsible for overseeing royal costs.

The report said because of overspending, the royal Reserve Fund had shrunk from 3.3 million pounds to 1 million pounds in 2012-2013, a historic low that raised fears "it could be unable to cover its expenditure on any unforeseen events."

Buckingham Palace said in a statement it had boosted its income by almost 5 million pounds between 2007 and 2013, and "work on income generation continues." It said it was working to carry out essential maintenance and had recently removed asbestos from the basement of Buckingham Palace.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • McAllister's campaign finances take a hit

    McAllister's campaign finances take a hit

    Saturday, April 19 2014 3:39 PM EDT2014-04-19 19:39:13 GMT
    Congressman Vance McAllisterCongressman Vance McAllister
    LOUISIANA (KALB News Channel 5) -- Controversial Louisiana Congressman Vance McAllister only has a little more than $8,000 in his campaign account according to a new report published this week by Politico.More >>
    LOUISIANA (KALB News Channel 5) -- Controversial Louisiana Congressman Vance McAllister only has a little more than $8,000 in his campaign account according to a new report published this week by Politico.More >>
  • Pollock inmate sentenced for assaulting prison employee

    Pollock inmate sentenced for assaulting prison employee

    Friday, April 18 2014 5:25 PM EDT2014-04-18 21:25:55 GMT
    ALEXANDRIA, La. (AP) - A federal inmate who pleaded guilty to attacking a prison guard has been sentenced to another 16½ years and three years of supervised release for the assault. U.S. District JudgeMore >>
    ALEXANDRIA, La. (AP) - A federal inmate who pleaded guilty to attacking a prison guard has been sentenced to another 16½ years and three years of supervised release for the assault.More >>
  • Counterfeit money surfaces in Cenla

    Counterfeit money surfaces in Cenla

    Friday, April 18 2014 3:13 PM EDT2014-04-18 19:13:22 GMT
    ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB News Channel 5) - A couple of shops around town have been receiving counterfeit money this year, even counterfeit versions of the new $100 bill, which came out just late last year. WhenMore >>
    ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB News Channel 5) - A couple of shops around town have been receiving counterfeit money this year, even counterfeit versions of the new $100 bill, which came out just late last year.More >>
Powered by WorldNow
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KALB. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.