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Queen Elizabeth gets pay raise as her bank account dwindles

PTI | Last Updated: Friday, October 11, 2013 - 22:48

London: Even a queen can feel a cash crunch! Britain`s Queen Elizabeth II is to get an inflation-busting 22 per cent pay raise as it emerged that she has only 1 million pounds left in the bank.

A detailed breakdown of the British monarch`s finances was released in a National Audit Office (NAO) report here today.

The NAO was allowed, for the first time, to examine all aspects of the Queen`s funding.

Her household is set to receive a hiked amount of 37.9 million pounds, a 5 per cent rise on this year and 22 per cent rise compared to the 31 million pounds she was given in 2012.

The recommended increase in the grant was justified in the context of "significant reductions" in the monarchy`s funding over the last 20 years.

Grants for royal travel have been cut by 76 per cent and the cost of maintenance for royal palaces was reduced by 60 per cent.

The Queen`s funding from the UK government is a tax-free lump sum called the Sovereign Grant and with her "rainy day" bank account apparently down to its last million, she is reportedly vulnerable to a number of unexpected costs.

Despite freezing pay for all her staff earning over 50,000 pounds, the Queen paid out 19.5 million pounds in wages to her 436 staff last year.

The average salary paid being 44,724 pounds a year.

Graham Smith of the anti-monarchy group, Republic, said, "We said from the start that the sovereign support grant was a bad deal for the taxpayers and no way to fund a public institution. Clearly we were right."

"While almost every other public body is facing serious cuts, it is quite simply immoral that our head of state is handed millions more in public money," he said.

First Published: Friday, October 11, 2013 - 22:48

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