Queen Elizabeth’s Last Million: Report Shows Royal Household Finances At ‘Historic Low’
By Anne Lu | January 29, 2014 7:19 AM EST
Queen Elizabeth II is said to be just a few spending away from depleting her funds. Not quite the poorhouse, though, but a new report claimed that the British royal’s wealth is “crumbling,” and her household finances are already at a “historic low” with only £1 million [AUD1.9 million] left in reserve.
A report by the Commons public accounts committee, which has been obtained by The Telegraph, shows that the Queen’s advisers failed to control her finances, leading to the depletion of her reserve fund. From £35 million in 2001, the Queen’s reserve fund had fallen to just £1 million.
The royal palaces are also said to be “crumbling” and in need of immediate repairs. Both Buckingham Palace and the Windsor Castle have leaking ceilings, while the old boilers add to the already steep annual bills of £774,000.
According to the report, 39% of the Royal estate was deemed to be in an unacceptable condition when it was assessed in March 2012.
Labour chairman of the committee, Margaret Hodge, said that the Treasury has filed in its duty to be “actively involved” in the financial planning for the Palace.
“The household must get a much firmer grip on how it plans to address its maintenance backlog. It has not even costed the repair works needed to bring the estate back to an acceptable condition. Again, the Treasury has an oversight role here.”
The report acknowledged that the Queen’s household managed to cut its net costs by 16% since 2007 to 2008 by increasing its income and reducing expenditure. However, more action should be done to counteract the crumbling state of both the Queen’s finances and household.
“The Household should ensure it has sufficient commercial expertise in place, both to maximise opportunities for generating income and to reduce costs, with a view to supporting The Queen’s programme at lower net cost, providing better value,” a recommendation on the report reads.
A Buckingham Palace spokesman was quoted by The Telegraph as saying that repairing the royal palaces was a “significant financial priority,” adding that the Royal household has also nearly doubled its income to £11.6 million since 2007.
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