Queen given £5m taxpayer cash boost

Queen ElizabethThe Queen has received a £5 million boost in the funds she receives from the taxpayer to carry out her official duties.

The Sovereign Grant, which covers the running costs of the Queen's Household, has been set at £36.1 million for the 2013/14 financial year.

The figure has increased from the £31 million allocated during the previous 12 months which included £1 million to cover the extra costs of the Diamond Jubilee.

The Sovereign Grant replaces the old funding system of the Civil List and grants-in-aid and came into full effect at the start of the new financial year. It also covers the maintenance of the royal palaces in England and the cost of royal travel for official engagements in the UK and overseas tours.

Under the new grant the Queen receives 15% of the profits from the Crown Estate, but from funds two years in arrears. The Crown Estate's 2011/12 accounts revealed profits of £240.2 million and the final figure for the grant was rounded up to £36.1 million - very close to the estimated amount - by the Royal Trustees in December.

Royal accounts released last year showed the cost to the taxpayer of supporting the monarchy rose marginally during 2011/12. The Queen's official expenditure increased from £32.1 million in 2010/11 to £32.3 million in 2011/12.

Around £10 million is spent on the salaries of the Queen's staff, from footmen to chefs in the royal kitchen - but wages have been frozen for a number of years. The figure for official expenditure does not include the cost of providing security and police protection for members of the monarchy.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman stressed that the £36.1 million sovereign grant awarded for this financial year was 15% less in real terms than the royal household's expenditure five years ago and that during this period the household reduced its expenditure in line with reductions in funding. Because of this, key building and conservation works were postponed, resulting in a maintenance backlog.

The spokesman said the majority of the grant would therefore be spent on addressing the backlog of property works which need to be undertaken across the occupied royal palaces.

He added: "Such works will see the funds spent in the real economy creating work and opportunities."
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