Some interesting points from the Republic campaign.
The estimated total annual cost of the monarchy to taxpayers is £202.4m, around five times the official figure published by the royal household (£38.3m last year).
The official figure excludes a number of costs, including round-the-clock security, lavish royal visits and lost revenue from the Duchies of Lancaster and Cornwall.
Civil List expenditure has increased by 94 per cent in real terms over the last two decades.
£202.4m is equivalent to the cost of 9,560 nurses, 8,200 police officers, annual Ministry of Defence spending on food and the total reduction in Sure Start funding.
The British monarchy is 112 times as expensive as the Irish president and more than twice as expensive as the French semi-presidential system.
Britain’s royal family is the most expensive in Europe at more than double the cost of the Dutch monarchy.
Taxpayers are kept in the dark about the exact cost of the monarchy, due to the royal household’s exemption from the Freedom of Information Act and widespread misunderstanding about the nature of the royal family’s finances.
Queen’s Civil List = 14.2 million
Duke of Edinburgh = 0.4 million
Property grant = 15.4 million
Communications, media and public relations = 0.4 million
Travel = 3.9 million
Government departments and Crown Estate = 3.9 million
Prince Charles and Camilla (additional costs) = 0.5 million
Lost revenue from Duchy of Lancaster = 13.2 million
Lost revenue from Duchy of Cornwall = 24.5 million
Security = 100 million
Cost to local councils for visits by Queen = 26 million
Total 202.4 million
To put this into some perspective, the “cheapness” of the monarchy could pay for … 9,560 nurses or 8,200 police officers (or not, eh?) or Ministry of Defence spending on food or Oxfordshire County Council’s annual social care budget or Department of Health spending on the Cancer Drugs Fund or Central government support for medical research charities. Seeing a pattern?
The Civil List pays for the ‘official expenses of the Queen’s household’. The biggest division within the royal household is the Master of the Household’s Department. This includes butlers, footmen, personal dressers and staff responsible for providing private meals to the royal family, “greeting and looking after” members of the royal family and managing the Palace’s wine cellars. The annual Civil List payment is currently fixed at £7.9m each year. However, because the payment was so generous when it was set in 1990 (it assumed inflation would be much higher than it actually was), the royal household has been able to build up a very large reserve. Each year they have supplemented the annual payment with these reserve funds, so the amount spent from Civil List funds has actually increased above inflation almost every year. Despite claims that the Queen ‘hasn’t had a pay rise for 20 years’ Civil List spending has increased by 94 per cent in real terms since 1991.
The Crown Estate is a land and property portfolio, managed on behalf of the Government, whose surplus revenue is paid annually to the Treasury. It is often claimed that the Queen ‘surrenders’ Crown Estate revenue to the nation, subsidising the monarchy through a personal financial sacrifice. In fact, the Crown Estate is not the personal property of the monarch and the Queen is not entitled to receive any monies from it. The source of the confusion comes from the fact that a small part of the existing Crown Estate portfolio was the property of the monarch before the end of the 18th century, when the king had responsibility for the expenses of civil government. But this changed once the state (the Crown) and the person of the monarch became separate during the reign of George III. Since then the Crown Estate has been the ‘hereditary possessions of the Sovereign’, not the personal possessions of the individual acting as Sovereign.
Because this arrangement has to be formally repeated at the outset of each reign, some monarchists assert that a new monarch could claim the revenue for themselves. In fact, this renewal’ is a formality and was described in 1952 by Burke Trend, a senior Treasury official, as ‘simply a historical relic from much earlier days’. If the monarchy were to disappear tomorrow, the Crown Estate would continue to do what it has always done for nearly one thousand years - provide income for the administration of this country.
If the monarchy were to disappear tomorrow, we would still make the money.
Alright yeah, it’s the derby. But we have a very realistic chance of winning a cup this year. We have players fresh from injury, not worth risking more injuries for at the end of the day what is just another 3 points. Whilst I agree that we need them, we have a very realistic chance of winning a cup this year, surely that needs to take priority?
The team selection was interesting, 6 changes (again likely for cup game) but I can’t help but feel that one or two of the changes needn’t have happened. Jagielka wasn’t ready at all tonight, several mistakes. Bad positions. Heitinga should have stayed central with Distin. Coleman shouldn’t have started, Drenthe could have made a night of it running through towards Carragher. Rodwell didn’t do anything, Neville likely to have done more. Anichebe wasn’t bad, but he wasn’t really good either. Straq has a decent game, but again we didn’t do much. No one really stood out.
Can’t fault Liverpool. Superb today, best I’ve seen Caroll play all season, Gerrard was Gerrard as he’s usually known. Defensively they were up to a high standard as usual. But again, with a slightly different team we could have pushed them.
Move on though. Sunderland next, ‘strongest team’ should be out. Nil Satis Nisi Optimum.
Currently on a course with St Helens Chamber to ‘enhance my chances of employment’. Meanwhile, I’ve been accepted onto a construction course allowing me to get my CSCS card, good times. Got to go to this St Helens thing for the next 3 weeks. Not too bad, just spend my dinner in the Raven!
Also, working on some stuff on the side (musically) so there might be some extra musical activities for you to attend. Don’t worry, cake isn’t a worry. We want sausage rolls.
For the first time in a couple of years, Everton have forked out on a senior player. That player being Darron Gibson, formerly of Manchester United. I’ve seen a lot of comments and posts over the past couple of days with mixed reaction. On a whole, this is good news. In the last transfer we had the (some would say unfortunate) sale of Mikel Arteta. Personally, although disappointed at first, it was good business and I think Arsenal bought him 2 years too late. A lot of questions have been asked about where the money from that sale went. As most of you know, Robert Elstone posted a very detailed account of the ins and outs of the Everton accounts. I think it’s fair to say that it made sense for a chunk of that to go into renewing deals for current key players. However, many fans have become disillusioned with Everton’s transfer policy of bringing in relatively unknown players from lower leagues for pennies compared to the likes of big spending City in recent windows. When you think about it though, it’s not been too bad. David Moyes has an eye for a bargain, who had heard of Tim Cahill? Seamus Coleman? Nevertheless, this foray into the transfer window has been fairly surprising for most. With Donovan coming in on loan as well as the Gibson signing, Moyes has actually been one of the more busier managers in the league.
Anyway, with my original point. Gibson can only be a good buy for Everton. He’s a passing midfielder who has an eye for goal. Watching him making his debut against Aston Villa, he gave an option, he created space and moved into it. Something the Everton midfield has lacked in previous years.
There is criticism as to him not “making it” in the United squad, but it’s got some fairly good midfielders giving competition for places. With the current injury crisis at Everton, playing time is what Gibson needs and a midfielder is what Everton want.
Once again we have the pleasure of playing at The Rendezvous, only this time we’ll be doing it on the new and improved stage! We’ve been working on some new stuff today, it’s been going well (honest). Got some surprises in store, obviously I can’t put anything otherwise it wouldn’t be a surprise. Daft I know.
We’re back at the Rendezvous in the new year, and I will need to confirm this so don’t quote me, we will be playing Mad Friday next year!
That’s all from me for now because I don’t really have much else to say. T’ra!
I’ve started writing some stuff on the guitar lately, acoustic mainly. Don’t really know what I’m going to do with it, shall figure something out eventually. Keeping on the musical theme, the band had an impromptu gig at the Breeze Bar after a pretty decent practice and random phone call from Julie. Sadly, we couldn’t do our usual advertising but we had a good crowd in. Apparently, we had some “Deathwish virgins” in the crowd and from the feedback they enjoyed it. With that in mind, we have a gig on the 10th December in the Rendezvous. We have been touting that, and we do expect cake!
Moving on! The jam night is on tomorrow at the Raven. Great ale, great music, great people. Come down and make it a great night.