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FEATURED: UK Queen to receive £30m ‘bonus’ from public purse thanks to obscure rule in 2012 barring a drop in royal income

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#AceBreakingNews – Income used by the Treasury to fund the Sovereign Grant, which pays for the Royal Family’s official duties and palaces, has dropped dramatically – but a deal struck by David Cameron’s government in 2012 means a £27m fall cannot be passed on

EDINBURGH, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 28: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Queen Elizabeth II attends an Armed Forces Act of Loyalty Parade in the gardens of the Palace of Holyroodhouse on June 28, 2022 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Members of the Royal Family are spending a Royal Week in Scotland, carrying out a number of engagements between Monday June 27 and Friday July 01, 2022. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
iNews Report:

iNEWS REPORT: Exclusive: June 30, 2022 6:00 am(Updated 10:09 am)

The Queen attends a ceremony this week in the gardens of the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh (Photo: Max Mumby/ Indigo/Getty)

The Queen will receive an inflation-defying “bonus” of nearly £30m from the public purse over the next two years thanks to an obscure rule which means her income to fund the Royal Family’s official duties cannot go down. 

The Sovereign Grant, which covers the cost of items from royal staff salaries to travel as well as the refurbishment of Buckingham Palace, is currently set at £86.3m and will now remain at that level until 2024 despite a substantial dip in profits at the Crown Estate – the £16.5bn royal property fund whose revenues are used to calculate the grant. 

In ordinary circumstances, the amount of the Sovereign Grant would reduce by a total of £27m over the next two years as a result of the Crown Estate’s fall in profits. But the existence of a so-called “golden ratchet” clause, inserted by former prime minister David Cameron’s government, means the level of the grant cannot be reduced whatever the state of the economy. 

Buckingham Palace confirmed on Wednesday in its annual financial report that the Sovereign Grant will remain fixed next year at its current level. It is understood by i that the same situation will also apply for the 2023/24 financial year. 

More on Royal Family

Under the deal struck by Mr Cameron’s adminstration in 2012 to replace the defunct civil list system, the Queen currently receives 25 per cent of the Crown Estate’s net profits – a 15 per cent “core” grant to cover the cost of official duties plus a temporary decade-long extra 10 per cent to fund the ongoing refurbishment of Buckingham Palace until 2027. The grant is backdated to the Crown Estate’s profits recorded two years previously. 

Immediately prior to the pandemic, the investment fund, which is based on the hereditary revenues of the monarchy since surrendered to Parliament, achieved a record net profit of £345m, leading to the current Sovereign Grant figure of £86.3m.  

But the Covid-19 outbreak significantly dented the profits of the investment fund, which holds assets from London’s Regent Street to much of the UK’s seabed, meaning that in 2021 it returned a reduced figure £269.3m to the Treasury, followed by £313m for 2022. 

The result is that the Treasury will have to make up the resulting shortfall to fulfil the obligations of the ratchet clause. Royal sources emphasised that the Sovereign Grant provided essential funds, in particular for the refurbishment of Buckingham Palace, which it is warned is at risk of catastrophic flood or fire unless the current works are carried out. 

But critics claimed the situation amounted to an exemption for the monarchy from the pressures of inflation and rising cost of living. Graham Smith, of the campaign group Republic, said: “Whilst everybody else feels the consequences of the pandemic and rising inflation, the Queen is the one person who is protected from its effects and receives a bonus.” 

The revelation coincided with the publication of separate figures showing that Prince Charles saw his income from the Duchy of Cornwall, the private estate used to fund the living costs of the heir to the throne, rise by £2.6m to £23m, compared to £20.4m last year. When compared to the pre-pandemic figure, the rise in income falls to £780,000. 

The royal accounts also revealed a substantial annual increase in travel costs as official tours by senior members of the House of Windsor began to return to pre-pandemic levels. 

The £4.5m travel bill, funded through the Sovereign Grant, included £226,000 spent on flights for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s controversial Caribbean tour, during which the couple were criticised for images smacking of “colonialism”.  

A charter flight to Barbados for Prince Charles to attend the country’s transition to a republic, along with his staff’s scheduled air travel for the event, came to more than £138,000. 

#AceNewsDesk report ………..Published: June.30:  2022:

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