Off with their overheads.

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The Guardian is reporting today that the weird state-owned enterprise known as the Royal Family is to be exempt from any cuts in public spending next year when its civil list funding comes under review.

Unlike all other public sector workers, members of the House of Windsor have their pay settlements negotiated only once every decade. In 1990 John Major kindly made provision for an annual inflation rate of 7.5% over the next ten years. 1990s inflation turned out to be just 3.7% and so Mrs Windsor and her crew raked in a surplus of £35 million.

The Royals might have had to endure some anni horribiles in terms of their amusing family feuding, but it was all anni mirabiles when it came to the finances. Although Dear Leader Blair froze the payment level in 2000 they are still sitting on top of a surplus of many millions.

The Guardian claims to have seen Treasury papers which indicate that Parliament cannot decrease the amount paid through the civil list. MPs are apparently only able to adjust the civil list upwards. If true, this is a ridiculous situation. With public spending cuts being widely described as inevitable everywhere else, could the Royal Family avoid having greater frugality forced upon them?

But not only could they avoid cuts – the Royals still want more. Reading Johaan Hari’s excellent article on the Queen Mum, it seems the gin-soaked old bigot’s obtuse opposition to lowering any spending on the monarchy lives on.

I don’t like the government’s acceptance of the need for drastic reductions in expenditure at all. However, it will be truly, truly sickening if the public sector cuts go ahead whilst the Royal Family continue to enjoy an unabated lifestyle of privilege. 

As a nation, we are clearly very sentimental in that we are still inexplicably prepared to let the Windsors kid themselves into thinking that they have a divine right to ‘rule’ over us. This does not mean the Royals can be allowed to shield themselves from the economic sacrifices the rest of the population is supposed to make.

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