A report claims the Royal Family has just £1million ($1.6 million) left in its reserve fund and an urgent review of how money is spent is needed. MPs say The Queen is not spending enough on fixing her “crumbling” palaces and blames advisers for poor financial advice.
So how dire is the situation? This fund has dropped from a healthy £35 million in 2001 and according to Margaret Hodge, the Labour chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, even vital repairs are not being taken care of.
“The boiler in Buckingham Palace is 60 years old. The household must get a much firmer grip on how it plans to address its maintenance backlog,” she said. “We got the impression that they just haven’t tried to make greater savings. Here we are, we’re all in it together, but they are failing to eek better value for the Queen. They are dipping into their reserves in a way that just isn’t sensible.
“If you look at the Tower of London and its visitor numbers it makes you think that there’s potential there. Have they done their darndest to maximise value for money.”
The heating system for Buckingham Palace alone currently costs around £774,000 a year to run, which could be reduced greatly if replaced with a modern heating system. Other issues include the need to replace the 65-year old electrical wiring in the palace and the lead roof desperately needs replaced.
The report also details that 39 per cent of the complete Royal estate is in dire need of repair but there has been no formal report by the Royal Household as to how much this would all cost. Without this information, no major work can be begin.