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UK lawmakers tell the queen to cut costs, boost income

Queen 'Not Served Well by Treasury'

LONDON (AP) - Britain's royal household needs to get a little more entrepreneurial, eye possible staff cuts and replace an ancient palace boiler, lawmakers say in a new report.

The report published Tuesday on the finances of Queen Elizabeth II has exposed crumbling palaces and depleted coffers, and discovered that a royal reserve fund for emergencies is down to its last million pounds ($1.6 million).

Legislators on the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee urged royal officials to adopt a more commercial approach and suggested opening up Buckingham Palace to visitors more often.

The committee said the royal household needed more cash to address a serious maintenance backlog on crumbling palaces. It said at least 39 percent of royal buildings - and probably more - were in an unacceptable state, "with some properties in a dangerous or deteriorating condition."

"The boiler in Buckingham Palace is 60 years old," committee chair Margaret Hodge told the BBC. "The household must get a much firmer grip on how it plans to address its maintenance backlog."

In words that have become familiar to Britons during five years of austerity, Hodge urged the royals "to do more with less."

The report pointed out that the royal household's staff has remained largely static at just over 430 people in the last seven years, a period that has seen deep cuts to public spending and thousands of civil service layoffs.

Hodge, a Labour Party lawmaker, said Buckingham Palace was only open to the public 78 days a year, drawing half a million visitors, and suggested that boosting visitor numbers could help raise funds.

"We think a little bit of a more commercial approach by those who are responsible for serving the queen would serve her better in garnering more income," Hodge said.

The queen received 31 million pounds ($51 million) from taxpayers in 2012-2013, but Hodge said the monarch "has not been served well by the household and by the Treasury," which is responsible for overseeing royal costs.

The report said because of overspending, the royal Reserve Fund had shrunk from 3.3 million pounds to 1 million pounds in 2012-2013, a historic low that raised fears "it could be unable to cover its expenditure on any unforeseen events."

Buckingham Palace said in a statement it had boosted its income by almost 5 million pounds between 2007 and 2013, and "work on income generation continues." It said it was working to carry out essential maintenance and had recently removed asbestos from the basement of Buckingham Palace.

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karatemama54 January 28 2014 at 7:02 PM

I hope she lives to 110. God bless her.

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1 reply
photomod10 karatemama54 January 28 2014 at 7:14 PM

God Damn Her.

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ilovemongkok3 January 28 2014 at 4:34 PM

No need so many servants to serve those so-called Royal Highness. They are not criple.

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1 reply
ggena ilovemongkok3 January 28 2014 at 5:03 PM

No, they are not crippled

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Sandy January 28 2014 at 1:03 PM

Americans can hardly criticize G.B. - we have made the Kardashians into millionaires.

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manfrombighorn January 28 2014 at 1:03 PM

It's about time. They need to go to the nearest Wal-Mart store.

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cookconstruction January 28 2014 at 1:04 PM

How about doing a reality show to raise money or a guest appearance on Downton Abby?

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Mr. Rockafeller January 28 2014 at 1:04 PM

one of you said to outright get rid of them...that wouldnt be right. What they could do is next time they hold some kind of elections ask the ppl if they still want to keep that institution. If the majority wants them to disappear , so be it

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1 reply
Penderosa Mr. Rockafeller January 28 2014 at 2:06 PM

the people are too brainwashed to vote for any changes

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realrambo January 28 2014 at 1:11 PM

The French thought they had the solution in 1789 , only to be replaced by a bunch of pompous croocked politicians far worst than the Royal Family

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1 reply
Penderosa realrambo January 28 2014 at 2:05 PM

pompous and crooked politicians are what make the universe what it is...pathetic

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dexrmerritt January 28 2014 at 1:14 PM

You think the UK folks can talk to the US folks and have them cut spending and some of the overload of personnel...I know its not tea but its worth a try...ole' chap.

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dhollin269 January 28 2014 at 1:14 PM

I don't know how I could get along on only $51 Million

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1 reply
Penderosa dhollin269 January 28 2014 at 2:03 PM

I do.

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mb43 January 28 2014 at 4:21 PM

Why do they need umpteen palaces for anyway. Why not reduce tne number of palaces and save
repair and maintenance costs. Aren't all these places continually staffed? That's a big waste
right there. Sell some of tbose jewels that are rarely worn only for "special occasions"; how many
tiaras can one wear at one time? We all only have one head!! I like what Kate does with re-cycling her dresses. Does the queen and camilla do the same. And ditch those frigging HATS. How many ruddy feathers can you have on your head at one time. If anne loves her horses, let
anne pay for their upkeep. Does her 3rd hubby still playing soccer? Let's hope he can find a
coaching job when he retires. Does charles pay for his wife's re-hab bills? He should and she
might seriously consider joining AA. Imagine there would be a HUGE decline in the booze
bills. She looks like she's three sheets to the wind in so many of her photos and I hate to beat a dead horse but, her hats REALLY make her look loopy.
And then there is the major free-loader, Andrew. I don't think he pays for ANYTHING. He's
useless as a trade rep to the Middle East but he sure can scoop up the perks. He and his wife
or ex-wife were meant to be together because they're both freeloaders. And, they are so
stupidly obvioius. Imagine, selling appointments to people for money. Who wants to meet
with Andrew??? Boring!!!!
I think that William and Kate are a breath of fresh air. They aren't full of theselves and class
conscious, like cammy. The Queen has made galliant effort s and I admire her especially for
her nod at Diana's casket. OK, it took a while to lower the flag and get back to town BUT she
did and and it made all the difference. I think the outpouring of love for Di was a Kodak moment
for all of them.
Let's see what happens.

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2 replies
Barbara mb43 January 28 2014 at 4:38 PM

Stop! Lol

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campbell1221 mb43 January 28 2014 at 6:30 PM

Go right a book your story is to long and boring.

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