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Friday, June 24, 2005
LONDON --- British taxpayers paid the government the equivalent of $1.12 each last year to support Queen Elizabeth II and the royal family, a "goood value" as monarchies go. Buckingham Palace said wednesday.

The palace, which has been under political pressure to control costs in recent years, said the senior royals expenses totaled the equivalent of $67.1 million in the fiscal year ending March 31.

That is down 0.3 percent from the previous year. Considering inflation, spending was down 2.3 percent, the palace said.

"We believe this represents a value for money monarchy. We're not looking to provide the cheapest monarchy. We're looking at one of good values and good quality"., said Alan Reid, keeper of the privy purse, the official responsible for royal finances.

Significant savings has been made on inusrance and through a properly tax rebate on Buckingham Palace, Reid said.

The royal family spoent more money in the last year on employing staff, hosting receptions for visiting heads of state, ceremonial occasions and overseas tours.

$4 million for Catering, Hospitality.
The Queen visited France and Germany and hosted visits from the presidents of Poland, France and South Korea.

Buckingham Palace spent $4million during the year on catering and hospitality, $914,600 of which went to hosting six garden parties attended by about 39,000 people.

Royal tavel expenses totaled $9.15 million, compared with $7.05 million the year before. Prince Charles chartered plane tritp to Sri Lanka, Australia and Fiji in February cost nearly $548,760, while royal train, on which the queen and her family tokk 19 journeys.

Ian Davidson, a government Labor Party lawmaker from Scotland, said spending on the royal train, made up of nine coaches including sleeping and office quarters, was a "gross extravagances".

"It costs far, far more to travel by royal train than by anyother method. There is no justification as far as I can see for the extravagance of the royal tain", Davidson told British Broadcasting Corp, radio.

The Sunday Times Rich List of 2004 estimated the queen's worth at $467 million.

(abstracted from Associated Press report)
posted by infraternam meam @ 3:42 AM  
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Name: infraternam meam
Home: Chicago, United States
About Me: I am now at the prime of my life and have been married for the past 25 years. Sickly at times, but wants to see the elixir vita, so that I will be able to see my grandchildren from my two boys.
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