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City MP slams £330m cost of 'royal tourist attraction'

Money spent on The Queen and the Royal family 'should go to struggling people'

The Royal family(Image: Pic: Phillip Coburn)

A city MP has hit out at the Royal family after it was claimed taxpayers spent £334 million on them every year.

Roger Godsiff, Labour MP for Birmingham Hall Green, said: “This is a huge amount of public money to waste on what is essentially a tourist attraction.”

He said it was wrong to hand out huge sums to “a tiny group of super-wealthy individuals” when Birmingham residents are struggling with the rising cost of living.

The MP spoke out after a report found the true cost of the royals to the country was £334 million, eight times the official figure.

That comes to £18.5 million for each “working royal” – the royals who carry out official duties.

They include The Queen, Prince Philip, Prince Charles, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.

Officially, the Government pays the royals a grant known as the Sovereign Grant, which is expected to be £40 million this year.

A study by pressure group Republic, which supports the abolition of the monarchy, said the figure was much higher when other costs, such as security, other staff costs and the use of publicly-owned buildings, was taken into account.

Roger Godsiff MP (Lab Hall Green)

Mr Godsiff said: “This is a huge amount of public money to waste on what is essentially a tourist attraction, particularly given the ongoing context of severe public spending austerity. As a country, how can we continue to pay these sums to a tiny group of super-wealthy individuals, even as we cut the services ordinary people rely on to survive?

“I know from my constituents how much they are struggling with the rising cost of living. Why should they have to subsidise the Royal Family’s ridiculous lifestyles and undemocratic set of privileges?”

He added: “I believe that we need a UK where all citizens are equal and hereditary privilege has been abolished. Everyone should have the same start in life, and no one should be able to live a life of massive luxury and extravagance which is funded by hard-working taxpayers.”

The MP has tabled written Parliamentary Questions to the Government to urge it to publish full details of the Royal family’s tax arrangements and to stop allowing the royals to pay tax only on a voluntary basis – a privilege afforded to no other UK citizens.

He has also tabled a Commons motion calling for publicly-funded bodies such as the Royal Family to be subject to Freedom of Information legislation.

This would mean the public would be able to read all of the letters Prince Charles has sent to ministers and for the accounts and spending of the royals to be open to proper public scrutiny.

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