How the hell can it be justified that the richest despot on the planet and her sprogs
can run up multi-million pound travel costs for jetsetting and parting across the globe at
the public's expense? What is worst is THEY call it working!!!!!!!!!!!!!
FULL ARTICLE HERE
Business as usual for royal parasite Airmiles Andy: He's still costing a fortune... even though he's quit as trade envoy
Queen's accounts reveal £6.1m travel bill for royal family
Official expenditure rose £200,000 to £32.3m, including almost £500,000 for Prince Charles's tour of Middle East and Africa
A nine-day tour of the Middle East and Africa by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall cost taxpayers almost half a million pounds, it has been revealed.
A detailed breakdown of the royal family's £6.1m official travel bill reveals charter flights for the tour cost £460,387 after officials determined it was not possible to fly scheduled.
Expensive charters by the Duke of York, as UK special representative for international trade and investment, topped £350,000 last year, including £81,000 for a six-day visit to Saudi Arabia and £89,915 in scheduled air and charter costs for a six-day trip to China, Malaysia and Thailand.
The costs, detailed in Buckingham Palace accounts, show the Queen's official expenditure increased last year by £200,000 on the previous year to £32.3m.
Sir Alan Reid, keeper of the privy purse, said spending had decreased by 26% in real terms over the past three years if inflation was taken into account.
"When the chancellor of the exchequer announced his plans for the public expenditure to reduce by 25% in real terms over a four-year period, the Queen was very keen that the royal household should play its part in reducing its expenditure accordingly," he said. The reduction was "a year ahead of the public expenditure target", he added.
The Queen cost every man, woman and child in the UK 52p over the year. Wages for her 300 staff, frozen for the past two years, fell £200,000 to £10m compared to the previous year.
Travel costs increased by £100,000, despite the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge getting an upgrade from BA for their one-way flight from Los Angeles to London at the end of their tour of North America. Even so, the bill was £51,410 in business-class tickets for the couple and seven accompanying staff. As it turned out, the inflight entertainment was not working, so the couple did not get the full benefit of the upgrade.
Prince Andrew accumulated the highest charter bills after his older brother. These included £10,470 for an overnight trip from Northolt to Belfast, Teesside and back to Northolt. A scheduled return flight from Heathrow to Bangkok for him and aides cost £29,946. His costs are expected to reduce next year after he relinquished his post following intense scrutiny of his relationships with controversial figures, including a convicted paedophile.
Thirteen royal train journeys cost a total of £900,000. The most expensive undertaken by Charles – an overnight regional tour from Ayr, near his Scottish home in Birkhall, through Middlesbrough, Redcar, Burnley, Stoke-on-Trent to London – cost £38,016.
At an average of £42 a mile, the train is often criticised as too expensive. Officials, who say they never try to give the impression it is the best value for money, claim it is justified because it provides security and least inconveniences the public.
The cost of Charles's travel was included in his accounts, published last week, though no detailed breakdown was given then.
The pressure group Republic said royal aides were attempting to spin an increase in spending as a real-terms decrease.
"Compare these travel costs with those of the prime minister, who spent less than £500 travelling on Eurostar to a Paris meeting with former president Sarkozy last year and just over £2,000 on a visit to Afghanistan to meet forces and local leaders," said Republic's chief executive, Graham Smith, who described the year-on-year increase as "indefensible and morally repugnant".
Of the £19,583 cost of flying Charles and Camilla from Aberdeen to spend a day touring riot-torn London in August, he said: "It beggars belief that it costs the taxpayer more to send Charles to east London than it does to send the prime minister to Afghanistan."
Calling for a "cost-benefit analysis" of the trips undertaken by the royal family, Smith said: "The costs published today are just the tip of the iceberg – the true cost of the monarchy is likely to be over £200m each year."
The accounts, which detail only travel costs exceeding £10,000, revealed £3,506,485 was spent on journeys less than £10,000. These included 153 journeys by the Queen's S76 helicopter, leased at £1,435 per flying hour, and 62 by charter helicopter.
As is usual, the finances did not disclose the amount of tax paid by the Queen on her private income from the Duchy of Lancaster. An aide stressed it was a "private matter" and joked: "Nor is she in any of these Jimmy Carr schemes."
The 2011-12 financial year was the last one in which the Queen's finances were funded by the civil list and government grants. For the current financial year the Queen's funding will come from a percentage of the profits of the Crown Estate, increasing her income to a projected £36m next year.
Aides said the extra money had been earmarked for urgent repairs to the royal palaces which had been put off for years because of a steady decrease in the Queen's income in real terms. "It definitely won't be for any massive improvement in the quality of life for the royal household," said one.
The Queen's year in figures
• The Queen undertook 325 public engagements in the UK and 45 overseas.
•The Duke of Edinburgh undertook 330 official engagements.
• Almost 3,000 official engagements in the UK and overseas were undertaken by members of the royal family during the year to 31 March 2012.
• 72 journeys cost more than £10,000 each.
• There were 26 investitures for 2,500 people.
• The Queen entertained 33,000 people at five garden parties in Buckingham Palace and Holyroodhouse. The parties cost £800,000.
• About 611,000 people bought tickets for the summer opening of Buckingham Palace's state apartments.
• 3,269 tonnes of carbon are due to be offset at a cost of £36,000.
• The average number of staff paid from the civil list was 300 – three fewer than last year – at a cost of £10m in salaries, pensions and national insurance.
• About £400,000 was paid for wine and spirits for entertaining.
• Royal stationery cost £300,000 – up £100,000 on the previous year.