News24

Royals cost UK £38m

2010-07-05 14:03

London - The royal family cost Britain's taxpayers £38.2m in the last financial year, according to accounts released by Buckingham Palace on Monday.

The figure, which represents 62p per person, was released with Britain facing deep public spending cuts as the new coalition government led by David Cameron bids to cut the country's record budget deficit.

Officials insisted that the royal household, which includes Queen Elizabeth II and her family, were "acutely aware of the difficult economic climate" and had taken action including freezing the number of employees.

The figure for 2009-10 represents a 7.9% drop on the previous year, a fall attributed in part to royals taking fewer commercial charter flights.

But opponents of the monarchy are demonstrating outside the palace on Monday to demand more clarity on how the royals spend public money.

"We'll be demanding real transparency and accountability from the palace, so we can really see how much public money they are wasting at a time when government spending is under the pressure of huge cuts," Graham Smith of campaign group Republic said.

"Royal finance reforms promised by the government are a start, but they don't go far enough or quick enough."

Finance Minister George Osborne announced in last month's emergency budget that the royal household would face a funding shake-up and in future undergo the same audit scrutiny as other areas of government expenditure.