A letter to Meg Hillier and Rachel Reeves

With recent articles by The Guardian putting Royal finances back into the spotlight, Labour for a Republic has contacted the Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeve and Chair of the Public Accounts Committee Meg Hillier to ask whether the next Labour government will properly scrutinise Royal finances.

Read our press release and the full letter below for more information:

The next Labour Government will need to get a grip on royal finances, according to the campaign group, Labour for a Republic.

The group’s call for action by an incoming Labour government follows press reports revealing the way the monarchy has been amassing a fortune at the nation’s expense, while avoiding full taxation and converting royal gifts into private income.

‘As monarchy receives public funds, what it does with our money should be subject to the same scrutiny as all other parts of Government,’ says Labour for a Republic’s Chair, Nick Wall. ‘The monarchy is a state institution and its financial affairs must therefore be transparent and its financial conduct beyond reproach.’

The group has called for a review of the Sovereign Grant scheme, introduced by the Cameron government, which it believes was a colossal misjudgement. The scheme ensures that royal income, paid from the public purse, can rise, and can rise dramatically, but never fall.

‘It has resulted in £86m increase in royal funding over the last financial year,’ according to Nick Wall. ‘Meanwhile, the king continues to get around £17m a year from the publicly owned Duchy of Lancaster and the Prince of Wales gets about the same from the Duchy of Cornwall.’

‘These arrangements are completely unjustifiable in any context, but at a time when households are having to choose between heating and eating and both public and private sector workers are experiencing real-term pay cuts, the special status afforded the monarchy is an insult to ordinary working people.’

In a letter to Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves and Chair of the Public Accounts Committee Meg Hillier, Nick Wall argues that ‘The next Labour Government will be an opportunity to address the many examples of Tory mismanagement of public finances’ and that this should include a review of how the monarchy is funded.