Australian Republic Constitution
Australian Flag News Get Involved! Events Resources
Main Menu
ACM Home
About ACM
ACM News
Anthems
Afghan Court Martial
Book Reviews
The Commonwealth
Contact ACM
Convenor's Column
Constitutional Monarchies and Republics Compared
Constitutional Monarchy in the Muslim World
Cost of Republicanism to the Taxpayer
Crowned Republic
Diamond Jubilee 2012
Event News
Federalism and the Mining Tax
Fiji
Flag: Keep The Flag
Governor of New South Wales
Head of State
Keating-Turnbull Republic: The Nineties
Knights & Dames
Latest News and Opinions
Links
Mate for a Head of State
Media and monarchy
Nile Inquiry
Opinion Polling
Orthodoxy and Monarchy
People's Republic?
Plebiscites
Prince Andrew
Prince Charles
Prince Harry
Prince Philip
Prince William & Catherine
Prince William In Australia
Prince William: The Early Years
Racist Republic?
Reserve Powers of the Crown
Resources
Return the Governor
Royal Commissions
Royal Finances
Self Funded Monarchy
Royal Yacht Britannia
The Succession
2020 Summit
Join our Mailing List
See our selection of videos from across the world:-
ACM Videos
AussieCrownTV - ACM's own TV channel:
Aussie Crown TV
Follow ACM on Facebook:
Facebook
Self Funded Monarchy
Self Funded Monarchy
Royal Finances
Royal Finances
Diamond Jubilee 2012
Diamond Jubilee 2012
Head of State
Prince Philip
Prince Philip
Special Caribbean Report: Crown & Commonwealth

      Crown

The Commonwealth
The Commonwealth
Prince Harry
Prince Harry
Prince Andrew
Prince Andrew
Knights & Dames
Knights & Dames
The King's Speech: read the book, see the film.

The King's Speech

Watch the 2010 Neville Bonner Oration: Tony Abbott.
Tony Abbott
Nile Inquiry
Royal Commissions
Royal Commissions
Opinion Polls

 

Plebiscites
Plebiscites
2020 Summit
2020 Summit
Orthodoxy & Monarchy
Orthodoxy & Monarchy
Afghan Court Martial
Constitutional Monarchy in the Muslim World
Constitutional Monarchy in the Muslim World
Mate for a Head of State
Mate for a Head of State
Racist Republic?
Racist Republic
A People's Republic?
A People's republic?
Keating Turnbull Republic: The Nineties
The Keating Turnbull Republic
Crowned Republic
Crowned Republic
Polls
Republicans' Best Asset?
Is David Flint ( National Convenor since 1998) the republicans best asset, as some claim?
ACM Home arrow Self Funded Monarchy

Self Funded Monarchy
Royal Finances

 

Our self funded monarchy


This column has long argued –  for many years we were alone - that The Queen and the Royal Family represent an extraordinary bargain for each of the sixteen realms over which The Queen reigns and for all of the countries which are members of the Commonwealth of which Her Majesty is Head.

Long presented by republicans as a drain on the taxpayers, the truth is this.  Not only is the Royal Family entirely self funding -they  actually produce a profit for the British taxpayer. The Queen is effectively paying taxes to the UK government at the extraordinary rate of 85%.  

This  benefit to the British Treasury and indeed the Australian, New Zealand, Canadian and other Treasuries, is quite apart from their tourist and promotional potential.

As for Australia, nothing  - not a cent - has ever been paid to The Queen or any of the other members of our Royal Family. There is no salary, commission, or fees. We pay no superannuation, and there is no golden handshake. The same is true of Canada, New Zealand and the twelve other Realms.


The Queen and no member of the Royal Family receive any personal salary as, for example Presidents typically do.

Nor is there any provision for a pension or superannuation. (Incidentally, King Charles II magnanimously awarded a pension to Mrs. Cromwell, the widow of Oliver Cromwell. Cromwell as dictator during the republic had murdered his father after a mock trial.)

 In fact the Queen does not retire; and abdication merely because of old age or convenience is ruled out.

In a desperate attempt to show some substantial taxpayer outlays, costs which are going to be incurred anyway, such as security are charged to visits, often on an inflated basis. Of course announcing this is in itself a serious security breach as it informs terrorists and others, but that does not seem to stand in the way of those with a political agenda. 

At the time of the Royal Wedding in 2011, some republican commentators were attributing the cost of a public holiday to the Royal Family. The decision to call a holiday was the government's not The Queen's.

Apart from inappropriate and exaggerated attribution of "costs" to the Royal Family, we have also pointed out the fact that the British government and Parliament have failed lamentably to fulfil their side of an agreement made with The Queen at the beginning of her reign.





...Civil List...  




Because so many fail to appreciate these facts we repeat: The Queen does not receive a personal salary or pension as presidents do.

Until April 2012, a return of some – some- of the Crown's income were made to The Queen through the  UK civil list and grants in aid. These were to maintain the official residences, and to pay the staff, the entertainment, and ceremonial and other functions head of state functions in the United Kingdom.

The Civil List and other grants-in-aid involved the government giving back a relatively small portion of The Queen’s money. The government kept the rest.  
This convention began in 1760. It was agreed then that the costs of the Crown would be paid from the Crown Estate and certain other hereditary revenues which would be handed over to Parliament.

From that time the practice developed of the Sovereign agreeing at the beginning of his or her reign to hand over these revenues during his or her reign to the Parliament in return for a Civil List.

In return Parliament would provide sufficient funds to allow The Queen to fund her state functions.




...a bargain..




This has proved to be a bargain, at least in the present reign.  But for decades the British politicians failed miserably to perform their side of the agreement. Notwithstanding inflation, the Civil List was frozen for about twenty years.
None of the other Realms contributed. They do absorb some of the overheads relating to the time The Queen or a member of the Royal Family is in the relevant Realm, just as they do to their many foreign state visitors.

In Australia, these overheads have sometimes been  artificially inflated by creative accounting, probably for the purposes of creeping republicanism.( In New South Wales, Government House was even purloined by the politicians for use for purposes including partisan politics, at least between the years 1999-2011. To read more go to the  Main Menu and then to the section 
Return The Governor )

Unwisely, the attributed costs of providing security have sometimes been revealed. This is a dangerous practice as it reveals what security is normally provided, something which for elementary reasons should not be made public. A protest by ACM about this has been  considered by the government.


The fact is The Queen and our Royal Family provide a unique an extraordinary bargain. That they also attract tourist and other revenue is of course also a relevant consideration. This is not only in the United Kingdom. A Royal Visit to Australia, for example, can attract international attention.




...new British arrangements...

 

 

 ACM has long argued that the British arrangements should be reformed by all of the  income of the Crown Estate being  returned to The Queen, leaving it to Her Majesty to grant what is not needed in legitimate expenses to the British government. 

In April 2012 the arrangements for the funding of The Queen’s Official Duties were reformed . The new system of funding, referred to as the ‘Sovereign Grant’, replaces the Civil List and the three Grants-in-Aid (for Royal Travel, Communications and Information, and the Maintenance of the Royal Palaces) with a single, consolidated annual grant.

The Sovereign Grant is designed to be a more permanent arrangement than the old Civil List system, which was reign-specific. Funding for the Sovereign Grant comes from a percentage of the profits of the Crown Estate revenue (initially set at 15%). The grant will be reviewed every five years by the Royal Trustees (the Prime Minister, the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Keeper of the Privy Purse), and annual financial accounts will continue to be prepared and published by the Keeper of the Privy Purse.

 

The new system provides for the Royal Household to be subject to the same audit scrutiny as other government expenditure, via the National Audit Office and the Public Accounts Committee. The former in ACM's view should not be mandatory,in that the choice of auditor should be left to The Queen. The latter in  ACM's view is entirely inappropriate, allowing unknown politicians to gain international status by grandstanding about the audited expenditure by the Crown of income of the Crown Estate.

In our view the allocation of the surplus of Crown Estate income remaining after covering state overheads should be a matter for determination by the Sovereign. There is for example a crying need to replace Britannia as a Royal Navy hospital ship and Royal Yacht. Those who know, recognize that  this was a tremendous investment for the foreign relations, international trade  and influence of  Britain and the Commonwealth. Why should not the Palace discuss the allocation of the Crown Estate surplus over time to achieve this desirable objective?    



 



Duplicitous government Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Tuesday, 04 August 2009

We have long argued in these columns that rather than costing the British taxpayer money, the British government makes a handsome profit from the monarchy. The amount that is actually paid is not a personal allowance or salary to The Queen; it is to pay for the costs of maintaining  the role and function of the head of state, as well as buildings forming part of the national heritage.

But the government is unreasonably refusing to undertake the most basic repairs to government property. The chart below was prepared by parliamentary officers and published
 in The Economist of 30 June. It explains how the British government is misappropriating millions of pounds from the purpose for which the funds were intended.   

Image


During the course of the recent Senate Inquiry I tried to explain to Senator Cameron that rather than the British taxpayer subsidising the monarchy, the British government makes a very handsome profit from it. (I am sending this column to the relevant Senate Finance and Administration Committee.)

But the government is  no longer fulfilling its  side of the bargain. If a private landlord behaved as the  British government does, the politicians would call for action to be taken to punish them. 

Image
[ The Palace....crumbling..]

And while heritage buildings crumble, and the Palace of Westminster mired in scandal, the politicians  have quietly and shamelessly introduced new rules which will allow them to claim up to £9,125 a year without producing any receipts.(The Times 28/1)  

But a
s the London Daily Telegraph ( 6/7) recently said, double standards apply when the Government considers the costs of the monarchy.

“When Gordon Brown's former Treasury fiefdom at Horse Guards Road was refurbished in 2002, it cost £141 million. By contrast, Buckingham Palace, where foreign heads of state are entertained in the national interest, is crumbling, its wiring and pipes a disgrace. Queen Victoria lost a husband, and almost a son too, from typhoid spread by poor plumbing. Today's Royal family has a right to better than Victorian pipework."

Image


The palace needs complete re-wiring, re-plumbing, refurbishment and re-roofing, according to the keeper of the privy purse, Sir Alan Reid. The Telegraph points out this is only part of a backlog at all four state residences that could run to £32m. Some buildings are even in a worse condition than Buckingham Palace.

Image
[ Royal Mausoleum at Frogmore ]


"The Royal Mausoleum at Frogmore, where Queen Victoria and Prince Albert are buried, is so dilapidated that English Heritage has put it on its register of buildings at risk.
The Telegraph says much humbug is spoken about royal finances.

“Those few who resent the cost of maintaining the monarchy have little enough to resent, since the annual sum amounts to a mere 69p per person. Even in Holland, the home of the bicycling monarchy, a 70-seat airliner is put at the disposal of the Royal Family.

Image
[ Royal Mausoleum at Frogmore ]


In the meantime, The Telegraph says too many false economies have been imposed on our Queen. “Perhaps the most grating example of political mean-mindedness was the refusal to commission a successor to the Royal Yacht Britannia, which had secured billions in trade and inestimable goodwill round the world. The yacht is now moored sadly at Leith, with scones on sale to paying visitors to fund its upkeep.” 

An yet in Australia there is still a noisy minority which actually argues for the removal of the Crown and the consequential expansion of the role, functions and powers of the political class.

Image
[ Royal Mausoleum at Frogmore ]

 

 
An extraordinary financial bargain: The Royal Family. Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Once again, the British taxpayer has received a massive financial return from the Royal Family.  This is because The Queen has handed to the Government all of the revenue from the Crown Estate and similar sources. The Treasury’s gross receipts in respect of the Crown Estate just this year were £211 million ( Aus $432.26 million) in 2007-08.  The Royal Family actually costs the British taxpayer nothing.

Image

 

The 2008-2009 Annual Report on Royal Public Finances sets out  details of public expenditure on property and travel. It estimates that Head of State expenditure for 2008-09 at £41.5 million (Aus $85.01 million) has increased by 1.5% in real terms. Over the past eight years it has decreased in real terms by 1.3%.

 

Accordingly a surplus on the Crown Estate revenues of £170.5 million (Aus $349.30 million ) has been retained by the British taxpayer. But as almost all of the expenditure of the Royal Household is spent on Head of State activities, which would be incurred whether the country was a constitutional monarchy or not, all of the revenues are actually spent on public purposes.

The Queen is not paid in the sense of receiving any personal allowance or superannuation. No moneys are paid by the Australian taxpayer to cover the costs of the Royal Household, including the performance of duties as Queen of Australia while outside of Australia.  When The Queen comes to Australia travel costs are incurred.

(These are inflated by security costs, sometime dubiously so. This practice of revealing separate security costs concerning internationally protected persons is dangerous. We have warned the Federal government about this. Itemising these signals the degree of security offered to each internationally protected person and this can be extremely useful to criminal and terrorist elements)  

 Sir Alan Reid, Keeper of the Privy Purse, said:  “The money provided by the taxpayer to enable The Queen to fulfil her role as Head of State, is equivalent to 69 pence (Aus $1.413) per person in the country . This is the annual cost, not the daily, weekly or monthly cost and is lower in real terms than it was in 2001. 

“The reduction in the amount of Head of State expenditure in real terms reflects the continuous attention the Royal Household pays to obtaining the best value for money in all areas of expenditure.

 “The year under review has seen significant investment in IT projects with the launch of the new British Monarchy website and the implementation of new personnel, payroll and on-line recruitment systems.

 “Increased expenditure on Property Maintenance in 2008-09 was made possible by increased receipts from commercial lettings and the Royal Collection.  

“Expenditure on Royal Travel has increased due principally to lower availability of aircraft from the RAF and the consequential increase in the use of commercial charter aircraft, often at short notice.

 “Last year, we reported that with no increase in funding over the next 10 years the backlog in essential maintenance projects was estimated to be £32 million by 2018. 

“Allowing for the cost of re-decorating the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace, and Windsor at £4.5million, a further year without an increase in funding and revisions to estimates of repairs, it is estimated that the backlog will have increased to £40million by 2019. 

“We will continue to work with the Department of Culture, Media and Sport to agree the criteria for assessing the backlog and thereby improve the estimate of the additional funding required,” he added.

The Queen and the Royal Family are indeed an extraordinary bargain.

     
 
Does anyone understand Daryl Melham MP? Print E-mail
Written by Thomas Flynn   
Thursday, 23 October 2008
Daryl Melham (Revesby, ALP) is at it again. As is well known, Mr Melham regularly attacks the costs associated with our present system of government.

He “exposes” the costs of Royal visits – even though at $600,000 a go we would need to have one a year for more than a century before burning through the public money spent (around $66 million) on the republican referendum alone.  
And the $600,000 includes security costs which are questionable, and the publication of which alerts the criminal as to the level of security provided to internationally protected persons.

More recently he has attacked the cost of Vice Regal travel.
The Canberra Times reports (“Ex-GG's final fling cost us $400,000” 14 October 2008) that Mr Melham has denounced the visits by Major General Michael Jeffery to the scenes of Australia’s military past in (inter alia) Belgium and at Beersheeba.

Image
[The Ninetieth Anniversay of Beersheba]


He argues that “Public money should be much more judiciously spent on what are essentially ceremonial activities.” To which I would reply that the money has been judiciously spent on ceremonial activities. Clearly he meant to say “...more judiciously spent than on ceremonial activities”.

 But what can be his objection to that?

Republicanism has cost this country a fortune (see “Costs of Republicanism to the Taxpayer“on the ACM site. $400K won’t buy you a Senate estimates committee at today’s prices. If we would spend so much money trying to change our system of government what is wrong with such piffling expenditure on the one we have actually got?

The Governor General is Australia’s Head of State (for want of a better term). As a constitutional monarch he or she acts in accordance with lawful advice from elected politicians. The GG can do this because he or she is above politics and as such is able to represent the whole nation to the rest of the world.


Unlike republican politicians.
 
 
A dangerous practice Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Friday, 25 July 2008
 
Image
[Pope John Paul II]

 

The recent visit of The Pope, His Holiness, Benedict XVI, has of course involved the provision of adequate security by the Commonwealth and NSW governments.

As a Head of State, The Pope is an " internationally protected person." It is an unfortunate fact that the security requirements concerning this office are high. The actual attempts, and the plots against his  predecessor, Pope John Paul II are testament to this.

The practice has developed in recent years of publishing the security costs attributed to visits by The Queen and members of the Royal Family. This was in response to questions on notice about the costs of Royal Visits,  usually from Mr. This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .    Similar information would be also sought in the relevant Senate Estimates Committee, often by This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .

This was no doubt done in an attempt to justify  the argument that  Australia should become a republic, and consequently the amounts were published widely in the press.

When we drew attention to the fact that only the costs of Royal Visits, and not those of visits of foreign Heads of State, were  being published, Mr. Melham began to ask  questions on notice concerning all state visits.



...demeaning, discourteous and dangerous practice....

 

The publication of attributed security costs is ill-advised. Not only are such attributions inconsistent and suspect, as Harold Schmauze recently demonstrated (“Accounting anomalies exposed,” 25 June 2008), their publication is demeaning discourteous and worse, dangerous.

These costs are incurred at least in part because of the legal obligations of the Commonwealth to ensure the security of internationally protected persons, which is emphasised in our being a State Party to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes against Internationally Protected Persons, including Diplomatic Agents which is annexed to the Crimes (Internationally Protected Persons) Act, 1976 ( Cth.)  

The determination of the level of security provided in each case is, in the final analysis a matter for the Commonwealth, and not for the guest who may or may not be accompanied by personal security agents.

 No doubt much depends on confidential advice received at the time from Australian and international sources as to the potential threats which could accompany the visit.
 Revealing the attributed costs is thus dangerous and may well constitute  a breach of security. It is a clear  indication of the assessment by the Commonwealth of the likelihood of an attack. Such information would be very useful intelligence to terrorists who could assume that similar confidential advice would be made to other governments in relation to the Head of State.




...not done in relation to other "internationally protected persons"...




For obvious reasons, such information is not usually published in relation to ambassadors and other diplomatic agents. When a country’s diplomatic service is under threat, it is of course unwise to reveal to potential terrorists the specific costs attributed to the diplomatic agent in question, as it would indicate the depth of security cover provided.

 It would not, for example, be difficult to calculate from such information as to whether  24 hour cover was being provided. If it were not, a terrorist could make reasonable assumptions as to when an attack should be made.


As these attributed security costs are not available in relation to most internationally protected persons, it seems wrong in principle to make an exception for Heads of State.
 

It is in our view also discourteous and demeaning to attribute such costs to the visit of a guest of the Commonwealth.

We are not aware of a general practice of foreign governments making and releasing such attributions in relation to specific visits of the Governor-General as Head of State, the Prime Minister, the Foreign Minister, and other ministers and our diplomatic agents; if this is occurring we suggest that Australia should lobby against the practice.

No civilised person would dream of having a guest in their home, and then circulating the itemised costs of entertaining them, adding say attributed proportions of the electricity bill, rates and so on. This would be crass.

To repeat, to publish attributed security costs in relation to visiting Heads of State is dangerous, discourteous and demeaning.

For these reasons we are writing to the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister   to ask that the practice cease now.

  
 
Accounting anomalies exposed Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Image

 

Evidence of serious anomalies in government accounting about Royal Visits or Homecomings has been exposed by Harold Schmauze of the Melbourne based lobby group, the Monarchist Alliance.

This seems to indicate that such accounting may be  used as a political weapon in the proposed plebiscite about a republic.

The plebiscite is intended to overcome the fact that the republican politicians fear that a referendum would be defeated.



...protocol breach?...



 

Mr. Schmauze also detected what may have been a protocol breach in a relationship which has been uneasy since the new government took office in Canberra.
 

“While visiting Japan Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and his wife had an audience with the Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko on 11th June,” writes Mr. Schmauze.
 
He is intrigued by  a newspaper report "Rudd invited the Emperor and the Empress to visit Australia … and extended the invitation also to the Heir to the throne, Crown Prince Naruhito, and Crown Princess Masako.”

As Mr Rudd was a diplomat we assume that in a country as rigorously polite as Japan is, he was careful to ensure that the invitation to the Emperor as the Japanese Head of State came from the person of equal rank in Australia, the Governor-General. 

However if  it only  came only from Mr. Rudd, our head of government, the Japanese would be too courteous to comment on what the Imperial Household would see as a  breach of protocol.

“Mr. Rudd’s predecessor, Mr. John Howard, was criticised for frequently sidelining the Governor-General; it is surprising that no Australian journalist seems to have inquired into what could be similar behaviour by Mr. Rudd,” observes Mr. Schmauze.

 ...creative accounting....


“One can only hope that the Prime Minister had consulted his republican backbenchers before inviting the royal guests, since recent visits by members of Royal Families were not welcomed by Labor MPs,” he says.

“ Take Labor MP Daryl Melham as an example: ‘I don't begrudge looking after people, but what the royals cost is a bit over the top,’ he said in September 2006, after a report had revealed that the Queen’s and the Duke of Edinburgh six day stay in Australia had cost “just under $1.5 million”.

“This included the sum of $662,678, spent on travel expenses, $81,800 on accommodation, $61,460 on security and a whopping $644,300 for "other expenses'', including entertainment.

“The same report claimed President George Bush’s brief stay in Sydney cost only $186,000.

“But when  George Bush and his entourage spent 24 hours in Germany that year, the cost to the German taxpayer was assessed at € 20 million (Aus$ 32 million)  (Der Stern, 6 July, 2006).  

“So how did Australia host the US president  at a bargain basement cost  of $186,000?

“Twelve thousand police shielded him from the German public. Were there none in Sydney? Was security provided free? ( Allan Hall, The Age, “Germans locked down for Bush visit,” 13 July, 2006)

“We assume no compensation was paid to shop owners who had to close their business for security reasons – these unfortunates presumable had to bear the cost themselves.

“And Sydney Airport must have forgotten to hand in the bill for the landing strip that was damaged by the president’s Air Force One plane. 

“Another comparison was the six day visit of the Swedish King and Queen (News.com.au 9 November, 2005).

“This was only twice the cost of the one day trip of the Chinese President Hu Jintao to Australia.

 “Not unreasonable, it seems if equivalent security was provided.  But that would surely have not been the case, “ writes Mr. Schmauze.

What is going on with this accounting?

From Mr Schmauze’s investigation, it is difficult not to conclude that the costs of the Royal Homecomings of our own Queen are being subjected to different accounting standards to that of everybody else.

There is clear evidence that when it comes to The Queen, who receives no allowance from the government, there is an unacceptable degree of creative accounting.

Is this being done for political purposes – to be used to advance the republican cause?

If so, this is a scandal.

 
<< Start < Prev 1 2 3 4 Next > End >>

Results 19 - 27 of 34
ROYAL VISIT 2014

Image

The Book Depository
Image
Image
Prince William: The Early Years
Prince Charles

Prince Charles

Constitutional Monarchies & Republics Compared

Image


Defend the Constitution and Flag
Australian Election Watch

10th Anniversary Neville Bonner Oration

11th Anniversary and Appeal

Crowned Republic 

   Keep The Australian Flag
Return the Governor to Government House
The Succession
The Succession
The Governor of New South Wales
Governor of New South Wales
Fiji
Fijian soldier
Media and Monarchy
Media and Monarchy
Royal Yacht Britannia
Royal Yacht Britannia
Republic Audit: Costs of Republic
Republic Audit: Costs of Republic
Reserve Powers of the Crown
Events
October 2017 November 2017 December 2017
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
Week 44 1 2 3 4
Week 45 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Week 46 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Week 47 19 20 21 22 23 24 25
Week 48 26 27 28 29 30