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The Queens finances to be investigated by powerful Westminster committee

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The Queens finances to be investigated by powerful Westminster committee

Post  Panda on Sat 9 Feb - 21:22

The Queen's finances to be investigated by powerful Westminster
committee



The Queen is facing a tough inquiry into her finances and expenses by the
most powerful watchdog in government, it emerged last night.











In April Buckingham Palace will
receive £36.1m to fund the Queen’s official duties, a 16 per cent increase on
the £31m paid by taxpayers last year. Photo:
GETTY




By Richard Alleyne

12:40AM GMT 09 Feb 2013




The Public Accounts Committee is expected to launch an investigation into
whether the monarch and the Royal Family provide value for money to the
taxpayer.


The inquiry, which will look at every aspect of the Queen’s expenditure
including the cost of transport, is likely to cause concern in Buckingham Palace
because of the PAC’s reputation for grilling civil servants if it deems they
have misused public funds.


The Queen’s closest aides can expect a particularly rough ride by MPs about
whether the Royal Family is providing value for taxpayers’ money.


The amount of public funds going to the Royal Family soared last year,
despite Government cuts.


The investigation follows a change in the law which, for the first time,
gives MPs oversight of royal finances.


The PAC, chaired by the former Labour minister Margaret Hodge, will decide on
the scope of any inquiry after the National Audit Office is granted access to
the Queen’s finances next month, according to a report in the Independent.

Auditors will produce a report on their findings which will then be
scrutinised by the committee who will decide whether to call palace officials to
give evidence.

Committee sources indicated that this was likely to happen.

“Margaret wants to do it – but obviously it’s got to be a decision of the
whole committee,” a source told the newspaper.

“I’m all in favour of it,” said Austin Mitchell, a Labour MP who sits on the
committee. “It’s not intrusive. It is about ensuring that the public are getting
good value for money.

“At the moment there is no accountability for spending what is a considerable
fortune.”

Among the areas the committee is expected to examine are transport costs
including the Royal Train and the Royal Flight, as well as money spent on
official entertaining and the upkeep of palaces.

Money given to junior royals to support their work backing up the Queen will
also be scrutinised while the committee may also want to examine whether
Buckingham Palace is doing enough to raise money itself by selling the royal
brand.

For example while Buckingham Palace now opens to paying visitors during the
summer some have argued it should be open all year round.

Two of the Queen’s other castles, Balmoral and Sandringham, have no public
access at all – despite their multimillion-pound maintenance costs.

The change has come about after George Osborne scrapped the Civil List – an
annual handout to the Royal Family that has had to be approved by Parliament
since 1760 – in favour of paying the Monarch 15 per cent of the income from the
Crown Estates as a new “Sovereign Grant”.

Crown Estate assets include Regent Street in London, Ascot racecourse and
Windsor Great Park, 265,000 acres of farmland, as well as ownership of our
national seabed stretching out 12 nautical miles around Britain.

The Estate’s profits have been paid to the Treasury and taxpayers since 1760,
after George III handed the Crown’s property to the state in return for an
annual fee to support his duties.

In April Buckingham Palace will receive £36.1m to fund the Queen’s official
duties, a 16 per cent increase on the £31m paid by taxpayers last year.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++
The timing is bad when it was established that the celebrations to mark the Queens Jubilee brought in to Britain double that figure.
Let's hope MP's salaries are investigated as well , considering they get so many holidays a year and although they get a good Salary and Pension, cheap Bar and Restaurant, many still fiddled their expenses, whereas the Queen is very frugal.Andrew and Edward do nothing for the Monarchy but I am not sure if they get a Government allowance

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Re: The Queens finances to be investigated by powerful Westminster committee

Post  malena stool on Sat 9 Feb - 21:41

Meanwhile back in reality, pensioners are found to be either eating or heating, unable to do both...

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Re: The Queens finances to be investigated by powerful Westminster committee

Post  AnnaEsse on Sat 9 Feb - 21:51

malena stool wrote:Meanwhile back in reality, pensioners are found to be either eating or heating, unable to do both...

And Atos is hounding people including a man in long-term care in a psychiatric hospital.

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Re: The Queens finances to be investigated by powerful Westminster committee

Post  malena stool on Sun 10 Feb - 8:55

AnnaEsse wrote:
malena stool wrote:Meanwhile back in reality, pensioners are found to be either eating or heating, unable to do both...

And Atos is hounding people including a man in long-term care in a psychiatric hospital.

Imagine the headlines if the Queen was asked to attend an Atos investigatory panel or if Prince Phillip was the man being hounded in a psychi unit.... Or better still Gordon Brown was amongst the Right Honourable Members ordered to repay money he over claimed in expenses, including Chris Grayling the present Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, who as Employment minister stated that:-

Quote
http://blogs.mirror.co.uk/investigations/2011/02/sick-who-gives-atos.html

"Tough tests for sickness benefit are all about saving lives not saving money".

He might try telling that to the family of one father who died after being told to get a job as his heart condition wasn't "life-threatening".

We constantly hear about the sicknote fakers who screw the system then get caught running a marathon or playing in their local Sunday football league.

But not about the tens of thousands of genuinely sick people who are turned down for the new Employment Support Allowance benefit but go on to appeal and win.

It's not a handout - if you work you pay national insurance to qualify for this benefit should you ever be unlucky enough to need it.
George, from Chesterfield, Derbyshire, worked all his life, first as a miner and foundry worker, then as a communications engineer, until a heart attack in 2006 when he was 53.

After a brief stint working self-employed his doctor told him to stop and George applied for ESA.

It's worth £91 to £97 a week but like everyone else George got £65 a week - the equivalent to Jobseeker's Allowance - for three months while he waited for his "work capability assessment".

These tests, carried out under a £100million a year contract by private firm Atos Origin, were introduced by the last government.

They've been finding up to two in three applicants are "fit to work" - but many appeal and 40% are successful.

In George's 39-minute exam, the "disability analyst" noted that George had angina, heart disease and chest pain, even when resting.

But this wasn't "uncontrollable or life-threatening" and George "should be able to walk at least 200 metres".

Atos's report went to the Department for Work and Pensions, where George's heart problems were ignored and he got six sick "points", as he could only stand up for less than half an hour due to pain.

Short of the 15 points needed to get ESA, George was put on Jobseeker's Allowance and told to find work.

He appealed, waiting eight months for his case to go to an independent tribunal. There George got nine more points, as he could only walk 100 metres before stopping.

He was put on the "work related activity" group where he got the lower rate of benefit and special help finding a suitable job.

But months later George collapsed and died of a heart attack, the day before another Atos medical. His widow is convinced the stress of claiming killed him.

We've got no time for spongers who milk the system and no problem with medical tests - as long as they're fair.

Professor Malcolm Harrington, of the University of Leeds, was asked to review the Atos tests by the Government last year.

He found they needed to be made "fairer and more effective". Currently the system is "impersonal, mechanistic and lacking in clarity".

Poor decisions were blamed on lack of time and common sense.
http://blogs.mirror.co.uk/investigations/2011/02/sick-who-gives-atos.html
Unquote

Some good points being made here Grayling, remind me again how much did you over claim and rob from the public purse in expenses while you were being paid £60+k and travelling 14 miles from home to your place of employment...
Shame on you!


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Re: The Queens finances to be investigated by powerful Westminster committee

Post  Panda on Sun 10 Feb - 9:55

malena, this is where you and I disagree, the Queen has done a tremendous job for Britain, our Royalty are the envy of the World and bring more Tourists to Britain because of the Royal Family. Elizabeth showed on the Jubilee celebrations in London that even though it was raining, everyone came to watch the Royal Barge, many East Enders camping out all night . How drab would Britain be without the pomp of royalty, the Queen is worth every penny she gets.
Blame successive Politicians for the state Britain is in , and now of course the greedy Banks who were never monitored.

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Re: The Queens finances to be investigated by powerful Westminster committee

Post  malena stool on Sun 10 Feb - 11:55

Panda wrote:malena, this is where you and I disagree, the Queen has done a tremendous job for Britain, our Royalty are the envy of the World and bring more Tourists to Britain because of the Royal Family. Elizabeth showed on the Jubilee celebrations in London that even though it was raining, everyone came to watch the Royal Barge, many East Enders camping out all night . How drab would Britain be without the pomp of royalty, the Queen is worth every penny she gets.
Blame successive Politicians for the state Britain is in , and now of course the greedy Banks who were never monitored.

I agree to a point Panda, but HRH has a vast personal fortune and to award her a 16% increase above last years £30 million payout from the public fund is a slap in the face to the entire working and retired population of the UK who are, in the main suffering reduced incomes in real terms.

The usual argument from government that the figure she gets represents only pennies per person holds no water when the very people who are paying cannot afford to maintain their own personal standard of living.

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Re: The Queens finances to be investigated by powerful Westminster committee

Post  Panda on Sun 10 Feb - 13:42

malena stool wrote:
Panda wrote:malena, this is where you and I disagree, the Queen has done a tremendous job for Britain, our Royalty are the envy of the World and bring more Tourists to Britain because of the Royal Family. Elizabeth showed on the Jubilee celebrations in London that even though it was raining, everyone came to watch the Royal Barge, many East Enders camping out all night . How drab would Britain be without the pomp of royalty, the Queen is worth every penny she gets.
Blame successive Politicians for the state Britain is in , and now of course the greedy Banks who were never monitored.

I agree to a point Panda, but HRH has a vast personal fortune and to award her a 16% increase above last years £30 million payout from the public fund is a slap in the face to the entire working and retired population of the UK who are, in the main suffering reduced incomes in real terms.

The usual argument from government that the figure she gets represents only pennies per person holds no water when the very people who are paying cannot afford to maintain their own personal standard of living.
I'm not sure how much Personal Fortune the Queen has , but the money she gets from Parliament has to pay for the entire upkeep of Buckingham Palace, hospitality to visiting Commonwealth dignitaries, her Wardrobe, travel expenses and other expenses. When Winsdor Castle caught fire the repair had to come out of her personal fortune. I do wonder what happened when Coutts went bust, they were the Queens Bankers....was her account saved.

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Re: The Queens finances to be investigated by powerful Westminster committee

Post  malena stool on Sun 10 Feb - 14:40

Panda wrote:
malena stool wrote:
Panda wrote:malena, this is where you and I disagree, the Queen has done a tremendous job for Britain, our Royalty are the envy of the World and bring more Tourists to Britain because of the Royal Family. Elizabeth showed on the Jubilee celebrations in London that even though it was raining, everyone came to watch the Royal Barge, many East Enders camping out all night . How drab would Britain be without the pomp of royalty, the Queen is worth every penny she gets.
Blame successive Politicians for the state Britain is in , and now of course the greedy Banks who were never monitored.

I agree to a point Panda, but HRH has a vast personal fortune and to award her a 16% increase above last years £30 million payout from the public fund is a slap in the face to the entire working and retired population of the UK who are, in the main suffering reduced incomes in real terms.

The usual argument from government that the figure she gets represents only pennies per person holds no water when the very people who are paying cannot afford to maintain their own personal standard of living.
I'm not sure how much Personal Fortune the Queen has , but the money she gets from Parliament has to pay for the entire upkeep of Buckingham Palace, hospitality to visiting Commonwealth dignitaries, her Wardrobe, travel expenses and other expenses. When Winsdor Castle caught fire the repair had to come out of her personal fortune. I do wonder what happened when Coutts went bust, they were the Queens Bankers....was her account saved.
If I remember correctly she was about 14th richest woman in the world a couple of years ago. I don't have a problem with her receiving money from Parliament towards the upkeep of Buckingham Palace, entertaining visiting dignitaries or travel expenses, but the myriad of homes she owns which are scattered all over the UK are just that... her homes. She should pay the upkeep just the same that you or I would have to.
But she should have to abide by the same financial restrictions which the people she purports to serve have to live with. In my opinion the 16% increase is obscene.

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Re: The Queens finances to be investigated by powerful Westminster committee

Post  Panda on Sun 10 Feb - 14:51

Yes malena, I think 16% was too much when Britain is suffering so much , didn't notice the Bank Bosses or Politicians taking a cut in Salary, and the Welsh Minister who drove his Car 100 metres to park from one okace to another deservedly got some stick.

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Re: The Queens finances to be investigated by powerful Westminster committee

Post  Panda on Tue 12 Feb - 8:22

Duchess of Cambridge misses out as Queen tops Woman's Hour power list


The Duchess of Cambridge has failed to make Woman’s Hour’s list of 100 most
powerful women, losing out to Victoria Beckham, Karren Brady and the founders of
Mumsnet.










Image 1 of 2
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge
and the Queen visit Vernon Park during a Diamond Jubilee visit to Nottingham
Photo: Chris Jackson/Getty
Images



Image 1 of 2
Prince Charles, Her Majesty the
Queen, and Prince William stand on the balcony at Buckingham Palace Photo: AP











By Hannah Furness

7:00AM GMT 12 Feb 2013


3 Comments




The list, compiled by the BBC Radio 4 show, is intended to showcase the
achievements of women across a broad range of sectors, from politics to fashion
and the arts.


The Queen has been awarded first place, followed by Home Secretary Theresa
May in second and Santander UK CEO Ana Botín in third.


The top 20, released today, includes politicians, business leaders and civil
servants, with Harry Potter author JK Rowling in 14th position and General
Secretary of the TUC Frances O’Grady in 12th.


The founders of parenting website Mumsnet, Justine Roberts and Carrie
Longton, came in seventh, with Supreme Court judge Baroness Brenda Hale of
Richmond in fourth.


The long list, which divides the notable women into sectors, features singer
Adele, sports presenter Clare Balding, former Spice Girl and fashion designer
Victoria Beckham, and Clare Foges, who wrote David Cameron’s recent speech on
the European Union.



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Remarkably, the full list of 100 women does not mention the Duchess of
Cambridge, as the judging panel dismiss her as “influential” but not “powerful”.


The Woman’s Hour Power List was launched in October 2012, with three months
of broadcasts on the subject accompanied by thousands of nominations from the
public and the advice of “experts”.

It was finally decided by a judging panel comprising of author and journalist
Eve Pollard, Conservative MP Priti Patel, television presenter Dawn O’Porter,
Labour peer Oona King, novelist Val McDermid, and former Woman’s Hour editor
Jill Burridge

Speaking of the controversial findings, Pollard said: “Inevitably not
everyone will agree with the 100 we have chosen. There are some omissions.

“For example, we had long debates about the Duchess of Cambridge. Is she
influential? Hugely. Is she powerful? Not yet.

“Most women on our list were judged to have power because they had reached a
place where they have control – of policy, of direction, of influence, of staff.


“The panel, a democratic group, also felt that we should include some women
who have what we describe as ‘soft’ power – not hire and fire or innovative
financial decisions but the ability to transform the way we think about
ourselves.”

She added the list “shines a light” on sectors where too few women reach the
top, including politics, FTSE companies, the military and journalism.

Alice Feinstein, editor of Woman’s Hour, says: “Woman’s Hour has always been
interested in the brilliant as well as the powerful and, of course, those who
don’t have power.

“We will use this list as a springboard from which to discuss the
contribution all women make to society – and to ask why there isn’t greater
diversity in the list.”



The top 20 names are as follows:



1. Her Majesty The Queen

2. Rt Hon Theresa May MP (Home Secretary)

3. Ana Botín (CEO, Santander UK)

4. Baroness Brenda Hale of Richmond (Supreme Court Judge)

5. Elisabeth Murdoch (Chairman, Shine Group)

6. Professor Dame Sally Davies (Chief Medical Officer)

7. Justine Roberts & Carrie Longton (Co-founders, Mumsnet)

8. Lady Justice Hallett (Appeal Court Judge)

9. Angela Ahrendts (CEO, Burberry)

10. Dame Gail Rebuck (Chairman and CEO, The Random House Group)

11. Frances O’Grady (General Secretary, TUC)

12. Moya Greene (Chief Executive, Royal Mail)

13. J.K. Rowling (author and philanthropist)

14. Rt Hon Harriet Harman MP (Deputy Leader, Labour Party)

15. Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell (President & Vice-Chancellor,
University of Manchester)

16. Rosemary Squire (co-founder and co-Chief Executive, Ambassador Theatre
Group)

17. Rt Hon Maria Miller MP (Secretary of State for Culture, Media &
Sport)

18. Sara Thornton (Chief Constable, Thames Valley Police)

19. Ann Glover (Chief Scientific Adviser to the European Commission)

20. Nicola Sturgeon MSP (Deputy First Minister of Scotland)

The rest of the list can be found on the Woman's Hour website.

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