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Palaces & Buildings

More than 100,000 people sign petition demanding the Royal Family pay for Buckingham Palace repairs

Over 100,000 people have now signed an online petition demanding that the Royal Family pay for the Buckingham Palace restoration work, not the British taxpayer.

The petition was created a couple of days ago after it was announced that Buckingham Palace was to undergo a ten-year restoration project that would cost £369 million.

The funding for this project will come from the Sovereign’s Grant, which is funded by the UK taxpayer for the monarchy’s official duties.

The person who set up the petition, Mark Johnson, said: “There is a national housing crisis, the NHS is in crisis, austerity is forcing cuts in many front line services.

“Now the Royals expect us to dig deeper to refurbish Buckingham Palace. The Crown’s wealth is inestimable. This is, in a word, outrageous.”

Politicians have also been wading into the debate with Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell saying that The Queen should “consider” contributing to the cost of repairs.

Mr McDonnell, who has frequently expressed anti-monarchy views over the years, added that in return for the restoration work, it would be a “nice touch” if Buckingham Palace was open to the taxpayer free of charge.

Despite the hefty costs, it is thought once he refurbishments are completed, much more money will be generated into the British economy. This would be through longer summer opening hours, more private tours and savings from maintenance work the palace currently has to spend.

A statement from the Palace said: “The estimated capital cost of £369m will be funded by a temporary uplift in the Sovereign Grant , from 15% to 25% of Crown Estate net income, as recommended by the Royal Trustees in their Review of the Sovereign Grant, published today.

“This figure will be reduced to £222m once benefits, efficiencies and inflation adjustments are taken into account.”

The works are being carried out because of ageing cables, lead pipes, wiring and boilers that are of a substantial risk of starting a fire owing to their age. The government, nor indeed anybody, wants a repeat of the 1992 fire that gutted Windsor Castle.