British queen Elizabeth II is all set to receive pay hike of £76.1 million for the renovation of Buckingham Palace as tax free income, an AFP report said. The grant is expected to stay at the elevated level for the next decade. The proposal for the facelift of the palace has been done to increase the number of visitors and and also replace pipes and wiring that are more than 60 years old. As per royal accounts, expenditure of monarchy was £56.8 million ($72.2 million) in the financial year 2016-17. Out of this amount, £42.8 million was state sponsored, and remaining £14.9 million was self-generated.
“In 2016-17 the sovereign grant equated to a cost of 65 pence per person in the United Kingdom – the price of a first-class stamp,” said Alan Reid, Keeper of the Privy Purse, as reported by AFP. The queen owns farms, prime real estates, coastlines. The income earned from these places goes to the UK government’s coffer and the crown gets some amount to spend on a number of engagements official travel, housekeeping, hospitality and property maintenance.
Speaking on the issue, Reid said that activities of the royal family are important in order to bring the monarchy in direct contact with masses abd added that in come years other members of the royal family can be expected to do even more to support the queen. More than 3,000 official engagements were carried out by the royal family last year. They also undertook 65 visits abroad. Queen’s husband, 96-year old Prince Philip who is retiring this year, carried out 96 engagements, the report added.
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As part of cost cutting measures, royal family members frequently flew in business class instead of first class on airlines last year, depending on circumstances. Republic, a grassroots movement in England had announced last year that it will hold campaigns to hold a referendum on the future of the monarchy after the Queen’s death. the group also said that the monarchy is not the “harmless tourist attraction but it has a history of abusing public money and meddling in politics”, the report added.