You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

The Queen is set for a mammoth £40million pay rise as nurses, firefighters and soldiers get just 1%

Mirror logo Mirror 27/06/2017 Ben Glaze
Credits: Rex Features © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Credits: Rex Features

The Queen is set for an eye-watering “pay rise” of almost £40million (NZ$69.8m) while nurses, firefighters and soldiers are handed meagre 1% annual hikes.

The Sovereign Grant is set to soar from £42.8million in the 12 months to March this year to £82.2million in 2018-19, it can be revealed.

Chancellor Philip Hammond is expected to confirm the figure at his autumn Budget.

The jaw-dropping climb is fuelled by record-breaking Crown Estate profits and an overhaul of how the monarch’s handout is calculated, to fund decade-long repairs to Buckingham Palace.

Since 2012, the taxpayer-funded bill for the royals’ expenses – known as the Sovereign Grant – has been set at 15% of Crown Estate profit, two years in arrears.

Credits: REUTERS © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Credits: REUTERS

However, last year the Tories offered to lift the grant to 25% of profits to fund £369million of repairs to the Palace over 10 years.

Next year’s cash injection to the Royal Family will be further boosted as the Crown Estate’s profits rocketed by 8.1% to £328.8 million for 2016/17.

That means the Household is in line for an inflation-busting £39.4million increase next year, compared with just two years earlier.

The Royal Family spent a total of £56.8million in the 12 months to March, including £41.9million from taxpayers.

The rest came from other income, including property rents and “facilities management charges”.

A year earlier they splashed out £53.7million - meaning spending rocketed by £3.1million, or 5.8%.

That is double the current rate of inflation, with prices accelerating at 2.9% year on year.

Travel accounted for £4.5million of the bill, up by a half a million pounds from the previous 12 months.

A royal official said “every journey has to be signed off by the Queen” and she “might have a word in the ear” if she believed a planned visit was too pricey.

An insider stressed royals “quite frequently” travel business class rather than first class.

Credits: PA © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Credits: PA

But they added: “If you’re expected to land be greeted formally by a head of state, do all sorts of engagements as you land, there’s quite a strong argument to go in as comfortable a fashion as you can long-haul to have a decent sleep, sort your self out.”

Prince Charles’ nine-day spring trip to Romania, Italy and Austria aboard the RAF Voyager - dubbed Cam Force One after it was ordered by David Cameron for senior ministers and royals - cost an estimated £154,000, the latest Sovereign Grant Report revealed.

A trip aboard the Royal Train to Devon so the Duke of Edinburgh could have dinner at the Royal Marines’ Stonehouse Barracks cost a dazzling £18,690.

Prince Philip has been Captain General of the Royal Marines since 1953.

Prince Charles used the luxury train for a two-day visit to Lancashire and Yorkshire, costing £46,000.

Defending the choice of transport, a royal official said: “It does mean that someone like the Queen can arrive first thing in the morning to do engagements rather than having to get up at some un-Godly hour to get there.

“She can arrive there rested, briefed and prepared.”

They added: “Although it’s not the cheapest way to travel it does represent many of the features we look for in terms of safety, security, not causing disruption to lots of other people, and convenience.

“The environmental aspect is strong as well. In general, we think it’s well worth using it in the way we use it.”

Flights taken by the Duke of York, dubbed “Airmiles Andy” for his fondness of flying, set taxpayers back £115,291.

One charter plane trip by the Duke to Turkey cost nearly £37,000, while hiring a private aircraft in South Africa cost almost £29,000.

Credits: PA © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Credits: PA

Prince Andrew flew on scheduled flights to Singapore, Malaysia and Johannesburg. All were official Foreign Office trips.

Only journeys costing more than £15,000 were itemised in the report.

There were 213 helicopter journeys and 56 trips on charter flights which cost below the threshold, Keeper of the Privy Purse, Sir lan Reid, said the Sovereign Grant cost everyone in the UK 65p a year - equivalent to a first class stamp.

“When you consider that against what the Queen does and represents for this country, I believe it represents excellent vale for money,” he said.

“During the year to March 31, 2017, over 3,000 official engagements were undertaken across the United Kingdom and overseas by members of the Royal Family.

“These included major national events including the centenary of the Battle of the Somme, the unveiling of the Iraq and Afghanistan Memorial on Victoria Embankment and celebrating the success of Team GB at the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio.

Credits: PA © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Credits: PA

“As the Report states, the activities of the wider Royal Family are vital in bringing the monarchy into direct and personal contact with all sections of society.”

Meanwhile, a Clarence House review showed Charles’ Duchy of Cornwall produced £20.7million of revenue, up from £20.4million a year earlier.

However, he paid £4.7million in tax at the 45% rate compared with about £5million 12 months earlier.

Charles funnelled about £3.5million to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry to run their households.

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall carried out 629 engagements across eight countries in the year to March.

The monarchy is all cost and no gain

By Graham Smith, chief executive of Republic

Firefighters, police officers and nurses face cuts and shortages, yet funding for the royals has shot up by 167% from £31million in 2012 to more than £82million for next year.

But this is just part of the cost. Research by Republic suggests the real figure is more like £345million a year when we include security, costs met by councils, unpaid tax and more.

It’s time we had proper accountability for royal funding. And let’s not hear about how much the royals bring into this country. Tourists would still flock to Britain if the monarchy was abolished. And Crown Estate profits would still go to the Treasury.

The monarchy is all cost and no gain. It’s time for a value-for-money, effective, democratic head of state.

More from The Mirror

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon