This is an opinion piece by Benjamin Knights on the restoration of Buckingham Palace and why he thinks the media aren’t telling people the full truth:
The media have attempted, and succeeded to mislead and fool the British public. There are now a great many people all over the country who are angry because they believe that they will be made to pay £369 million for repairs to Buckingham Palace. The media have of course created this whole situation. Only one British taxpayer will foot the bill for the work, and she is The Queen herself.
In a tradition dating back to George III, the British monarch always surrenders the profits from their own businesses, called the Crown Estate, to the government of the day. The Crown Estate is mainly a collection of properties in London and extensive agricultural land across the country. The monarch was always given a small sum of this money back to cover the costs of state events, such as royal tours abroad.
In 2012, George Osborne reorganised this system, creating the Sovereign Grant. This effectively meant that The Queen paid an 85% tax on her income. She received just 15% of the profits from her own businesses, approximately £40 million, and was expected to fund the Royal Family’s work with it. This makes The Queen the most taxed person on earth.
The Buckingham Palace repairs will be funded by a temporary increase in the Sovereign Grant. Instead of paying 85% tax, The Queen will now pay 75% tax.
The public will not pay anything whatsoever to The Queen for the renovation, but they will benefit from a huge sum of money, paid by Britain most generous taxpayer, to help with their failing public services.
This 10% increase in the money The Queen is allowed to keep from her own profits will be put to extraordinarily good use for the British taxpayer. Buckingham Palace is a focal point for the British and draws masses of tourists each year to spend their cash in the UK.
The Queen only lives in a small number of the rooms in the Palace, most being used for state occasions, civil servants and The Queen’s own staff. It is to the Palace that ordinary people travel to be made OBEs and MBEs and to receive the nation’s thanks for charitable works. Buckingham Palace also plays an enormous role in politics; with the Prime Minister being invited to form a government there. It is the living, breathing symbol of the British state.
Put against the $2 billion repairs for the Houses of Parliament, which will be funded by the taxpayer, this is a remarkably good deal. The British public will benefit from this wonderful Palace, and the priceless artefacts which are preserved inside for the nation, without having to contribute a penny towards its maintenance. I wonder if Rupert Murdoch would pay a 75% tax on his income?
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