Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Well if the queen says

If you are in dire need of a raise or facing a cash crisis this year, you're not alone. The queen of England is with you on that. She wants an extra £4 million a year to pay for repairs and improvements to her homes, including Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and St James's Palace. I know you were probably thinking of a few thousand dollars when you read the first line but I'll introduce you to disparity later.

So the story goes that she gets £7.9 million a year from the government as revenue. About 70 per cent of her Civil List revenue is spent on staff salaries. The rest goes on entertaining. The current revenue was agreed in 1990 and Tony Blair's government refused to sanction an increase 10 years later. So that makes her the only person I've heard of receiving the same 'salary' for 20 years. Her peeps are putting up a hard fight against the government saying there aren't many who haven’t received a raise in 20 years. But then there aren't many who live in a palace in England, wear a new fancy hat and red lipstick everyday and have cute blonde grandkids and call them prince. So much for that argument.

Now now, granted that palaces need to be updated and of course only royal material is deemed fit to go on royal walls but how about introducing the queen to the concept of cutting corners. It's become public knowledge that Prince Andrew spent £55,269 on a one-way flight from London to the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh to co-chair the World Economic Forum. I'm pretty sure that could have cost him around £300 in coach and £1200 in first class on Dubai Air or something. There's an endless list of her and her family's unfathomable travel and entertainment expenses on the internet, not just in her gold plated books.

I think she's completely oblivious to the fact that not many have the courage to ask for a raise in these testing times. But then she's the queen. What does it matter to her what the plebeians do.

Someone on an accounts committee who reviews palace finances made a good point. "They should be looking at what could be done to open up the occupied palaces and their priceless treasures to the public and in the process generate more revenue." He said that if the White House could open for most of the year then Buckingham Palace should too, instead of just 2 months.

So your highness, with all due respect, let us both vow to be more self reliant and less greedy.


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