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  #81  
Old 05-20-2015, 07:35 AM
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40 and 15,5 belgians why so much difference?
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  #82  
Old 09-15-2015, 07:03 PM
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40 and 15,5 belgians why so much difference?
The Dutch have one of the most complete and transparant overviews of all costs. The Belgians have a lot of "hidden costs". For an example the palaces and castles are owned by the Donation Royale, which was a gift from Leopold II to the State of Belgium. The costs of the palaces are administered at the Donation Royale but in fact these should be attributed to the monarchy as the Donation Royale is owned by the State. It is often just a matter of definitions and choices.

In the Budget 2016 and the Note on the state of the kingdom's finances 2015, which were presented today (Prinsjesdag) it became clear that 750.000 Euro was spent on a new telephone system for the Royal House. The budget was 250.000 Euro but exceeded with 500.000 Euro (!). There was no need for extra money because it was covered with money initiated for other posts. All communication infrastructures in the palaces have been modernized and the telephone systems are extra secured and state-of-the-art for current times.
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  #83  
Old 09-15-2015, 07:32 PM
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BUDGET 2016

CHAPTER 1 - THE KING


7.804.000 EUR - income for members of the Royal House
27.076.000 EUR - functional costs of The King
5.704.000 EUR - expenses for The King on other departmental budgets
-----------------
40.584.000 EUR

The incomes for the members of the Royal House are:

His Majesty The King
854.000 EUR netto income
4.481.000 EUR for expenses
------------------
5.335.0000 EUR

Her Majesty Queen Máxima
339.000 EUR netto income
583.000 EUR for expenses
---------------
922.000 EUR

Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrix
483.000 EUR netto income
962.000 EUR for expenses
-----------------
1.445.000 EUR


Functional costs of The King


16.771.000 EUR for staff in the service of The King
9.105.000 EUR for expenses by the Royal Household Services
297.000 EUR for the Royal Forestry
883.000 EUR for the use of planes
80.000 EUR for visits to the Caribbean part of the kingdom
-------------------
27.076.000 EUR


ADDITIONAL BUDGET (on other departmental budgets)

2.400.000 EUR for State Visits, Corps Diplomatique, etc. (Foreign Office)
15.104.000 EUR for maintenance of the royal residences (Home Office)
xx.xxx.xxx EUR for security and personal protection (Department of Justice)*
xx.xxx.xxx EUR for military ceremonial and protection of royal residences (Department of Defence)*

* These costs are in the Budgets for Justice and for Defense but the Government refuses to precize which amounts are used for the security and deployment of military because outsiders can possibly deduce which measures are taken, how much money is spend, how much personnel is used and what equipment has been purchased, etc. This part of the Budget is reviewed by the parliamentary Commission for the Intelligence- and Security Services (which is a secret committee). It is believed these costs are around 20 million Euro.

--
Since the transparancy of the Budget for Chapter 1, The King, it is pretty calm. In former years MP's would protest in debates about the costs of the monarchy. The latest years it is all calm. The Budget is always the same and is indexed. So indeed, for once a shock and an outrcy because ALL costs became visible when the new transparent way of budgetting was introduced and then the monarchy seems ultra-expensive indeed: "The Dutch monarchy is the most expensive in Europe!".

But once everyone became 'used' to the fact that the direct costs of the monarchy are between 35-40 million Euro and the total costs around 80 million Euro, soit, that is it. The MP's know they can not change it. It is a tiny amount in a total of 262.100.000.000 EUR of spendings by the Government and the MP's realize that the upkeep of the palaces, the staffing, the protection and security, etc. would be on the Budget as well when there was no monarchy.
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  #84  
Old 10-17-2015, 11:53 AM
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Labour: Royal family must pay taxes - NL Times

The discussion about the DRF having to pay taxes continues
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  #85  
Old 10-17-2015, 12:33 PM
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The Prime Minister, Mr Mark Rutte, stated in the Chamber that the exemption of taxes from Sovereign to Heir is "a dead rule" anyway because the bulk of the possessions which are "subservient to the royal function" are placed in Foundations and Trusts, to avoid a break-up of the unique collections.

Remains the taxation of the incomes. The King, the Queen and Princess Beatrix receive a netto allowance. Not like others an income which is taxed and about which health insurance, pension, unemployment, etc. is paid. After all the King will never need a pension, disability benefits or an unemployment pay-out. So in essence the Chamber is making hullabaloo about little.

All other members of the royal family pay taxes. All members of the royal family, except the Heir to the Sovereign, have to pay death taxes as well. To end all this the Government can take out the non-taxation of the Heir but it needs a change of the Constitution. They can also decide to make the income of the King, the Queen and Princess Beatrix bruto, so then taxes are paid. It is purely a cosmetic change anyway because the payments come from the State and the taxes go to the... ? Right....
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  #86  
Old 10-17-2015, 06:56 PM
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The whole discussion in parlement was depressing IMHO. Like journalist Marc van der Linden said in 'Pauw': parlementarians use it mainly to get their face on television and they even get the most basic facts wrong. That parlement discusses the costs of Beatrix yacht is IMHO idiotic: parlement wasting their & the ministers time to discuss a 5-digit sum of money.

Something that Van der Linden did mention is the amount of money the king receives for himself, which is high in comparison to other heads of state. Not fitting for The Netherlands and they could freeze the amount for a few years.
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  #87  
Old 10-18-2015, 09:57 AM
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When the Government would make the A-component bruto, then the discussion will likely ends. Remains the height of the incomes to the King, Queen Máxima and Princess Beatrix. These are connected to the salary of the highest official in the kingdom, which is the Vice-President of the Council of State (the King is the formal President). When the personal incomes of the royals are too high, does this say something about the incomes of the Vice-President of the Council of State, the President of the Auditory Chamber, the President of the Hoge Raad (the supreme court of justice), the King's Commissioners (the provincial governors), the mayors of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht, the Commander of the Armed Forces, etc? All of them are on the highest level of the state salary pyramid, even paid more than the Prime Minister.
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  #88  
Old 10-28-2015, 08:03 AM
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A majority in parlement voted in favor of a motion that wants the king, queen, crown pricness and princess Beatrix to pay tax over their income and over inheritances.

MPs want royals to pay income tax, but prime minister says no - DutchNews.nl

The prime minister said he would ignore the motion.

Another motion asked to have palaces Noordeinde and Huis ten Bosch opened up for the public.The prime minster said he would also ignore this motion: Noordeinde is a working office while Huis ten Bosch is a family home.
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  #89  
Old 10-28-2015, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Marengo View Post
A majority in parlement voted in favor of a motion that wants the king, queen, crown pricness and princess Beatrix to pay tax over their income and over inheritances.

MPs want royals to pay income tax, but prime minister says no - DutchNews.nl

The prime minister said he would ignore the motion.

Another motion asked to have palaces Noordeinde and Huis ten Bosch opened up for the public.The prime minster said he would also ignore this motion: Noordeinde is a working office while Huis ten Bosch is a family home.
As mentioned in the article, the King's tax exemption is part of the Dutch constitution. In order to change the King's tax status, a constitutional amendment would be needed then. If I understand it correctly, that means parliament must pass the amendment bill twice (the second time by a majority of two-thirds !) and, as in Sweden or Luxembourg, there must be a general election between the two votes. I find that unlikely to happen.
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  #90  
Old 10-28-2015, 08:33 AM
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It is not going to happen. If there would be a chance that it would happen I am sure that a couple of parties who voted in favor of the motion would have voted against it. But as it is, it is an easy way for a few members of parlament to get their heads on television. To change the constitution I believe a vote of the Carribean part of the kingdom is also needed. It is rather unlikely that the islands will vote against the royal family.

The suggestion of opening the palaces is a another example of the opportunism of our politicians: it has been pointed out again and again that it is simply impossible at present. The palaces are too small as it is, Noordeinde is actively used and they will need to invest a lot of extra money to change the facilities to create extra restrooms, easier access for people in wheelchairs etc. Money that nobody wants to spend. Since I am sure not all of our members of parlament are senile, they must be aware of it too. But they chose to ignore reality in favor of an opportunistic but empty vote, thus wasting tax payers money.
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  #91  
Old 10-28-2015, 09:17 AM
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And add to that: the Royal Palace in Amsterdam is open all year, the Palace Het Loo is open all year, the Royal Mews are open all year, Soestdijk Palace has been open for years, now waiting for a new destination, etc. It is not exacltly like the royal residences are a fortress, except two: Noordeinde and Huis ten Bosch. Understandably.
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  #92  
Old 10-28-2015, 09:33 AM
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A very typical example of politicians not thinking things through properly. It's so dangerous when they get ideas into their heads and then bring them to parliament!
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  #93  
Old 02-20-2016, 03:01 PM
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From the site of the Department of General Affairs (the Prime Minister's Department) concerning the costs for the maintenance of the Golden State Carriage (in Dutch): link.

My translation:

2015Z25052
QUESTIONS by the member Pechtold (D66) to the Prime Minister about the maintenance of the Golden State Carriage (submitted December 18, 2015)

Question 1
What are the costs, in total and per year, for the major maintenance of the Golden State Carriage?

Answer to Question 1
The costs of major repairs and the restoration of the Golden State Carriage are the responsibility of the Royal Household Services and covered by the State Budget: Chapter I - The King, Article 2.

These costs do not lead to an additional burden on tax revenue, because these are covered by the total of the budgeted amount. Section 2 of the named Budget contains the functional expenditures which can be related to the exercise of the kingship and which are submitted to the Prime Minister by the Royal House Services and are paid from the Budget of the King.

The budget article consists of a human and a material component and other specific expenses. The costs of major repairs and the restoration of the Golden State Carriage fall within the material component. Parliamentary control of the functional expenditures takes place through the Budget control in which the expenditure is estimated and is made through the annual financial report in which accountability for the expenditure is incurred.

As with all reports, is the annual Budget control on Chapter I - The King, accompanied by a report from the Auditory Chamber. Also every year an external audit is carried out to investigate the legality of the concerned expenditures. This system does justice to Article 41 of the Constitution ( "The King organizes his House, taking into account the public interest"). Under that provision, the King has the freedom to determine -within the limits of the Budget- how his House is organized and how the funds thereby are assignated. Should individual expenditures within the three components of the Budget be made transparent for everyone, this is not consistent with Article 41 of the Constitution.

Question 2
What maintenance is exactly carried out on the Golden State Carriage? Can you answer with a maintenance list and, if available, the underlying research to the decision to maintenance? If not, why not?

Answer to Question 2
Research into the condition of the Golden State Carriage has shown that the vehicle is due for restoration. The following activities will take place at least:
- the straps which hangs the cabinet will have to be replaced considering the age of the leather;
- the wooden wheels will be shrunken again, to tighten the spokes;
- in various places about the carvings have become loose and in some places there are cracks in the woodwork and panels of the cabinet;
- the gilding has been worn away;.
- both the strings and the tassels on the box are severely discolored and at some places worn out;
- the worn textile materials must be replaced.

The documents called for, are - where they exist - not sent with the answer, because that would enter into the constitutional powers of the King in which he has the freedom to organize his own House. See also the answer to question 1 and the information by the Council of State about the ministerial responsibility for the King and members of the royal family regarding the protection of their privacy, particularly in relation to the information duty of the Government towards the States-General (= Parliament).

Question 3
What is, given the multi-annual nature, the timing of the maintenance? What happens when?

Question 4
Why not opt for a faster maintenance process, so that the Golden State Carriage can become into operation again earlier?

Answers to Questions 3 and 4
The restoration of the Golden State Carriage will take several years. The restoration involves a time-consuming and specialized work, wherein the different specialists will not be able to do simultaneously work on the carriage. The experiences and insights gained in the restoration of the Glass State Carriage are used in the restoration of the Golden State Carriage.

Overall, the following phases of the restoration process can be distinguished:
- dismantling the carriage;
- inspection of all components and analysis of the restoration work;
- specialists make an offer;
- start of the restoration of the various elements: chassis, cabinet, upholstery, etc.

Question 5
Which services and maintenance has been done to the Golden State Carriage since the accession of Princess Beatrix to the throne (1980)?

Question 6
What exactly should be understood by "the first time that this type of major maintenance takes place at the Golden State Carriage", as you suggested in the parliamentary reading of the budget of The King for the year 2016? What other types of major repairs are possible and have occurred?

Answers to questions 5 and 6
It is the first time ever that the Golden State Carriage is undergoing a major restoration. The starting point for the restoration is that the carriage should be back for the next few decades in order to be deployed. For the restoration as now planned, the carriage must be disassembled. The carriage will be (in parts) mostly at the Royal Stables and some other places during this restoration.

In recent years, the only regular annual maintenance made to the carriage, such as greasing the axles and small repairs. The costs of these maintenance inspections can not be given for reasons mentioned in the answer to question 1.
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  #94  
Old 02-21-2016, 06:42 AM
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I think the prime minister is right in not giving even more openness about the matter. What will be next? They want to check Máxima's grocery lists?

The only reason why Pechtold & co are making this an issue is because it gives them time on television. If they are so worried about costs, why not check the receits of all these overpaid managers in our health care services? Or why not make all their own receits public?

The costs have become the main issue that republicans can put n the agenda to weaken the royal house. That these carriages, palaces etc. will need to be renovated when we are a republic is something that the press doesn't want to understand. These issues usually die a slow death after the MP received their television-time.

All these debates about incidental costs are useless IMHO: having a head of state costs money, preserving the national patrimony costs money; with or without a king. An issue that would make sense -namely to decrease the private income of the king and queen to the max. level that is allowed for people in civil service- is never touched.
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  #95  
Old 02-21-2016, 07:04 AM
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I agree and... the States-General themselves have approved the Budget of The King with all agreements around. So now making noises on second thought... come on...

Key is this stance of the Prime Minister:

As with all reports, the annual Budget control on Chapter I - The King, is accompanied by a report from the Auditory Chamber. Also every year an external audit is carried out to investigate the legality of the concerned expenditures. This system does justice to Article 41 of the Constitution ("The King organizes his House, taking into account the public interest").

Under that provision, the King has the freedom to determine -within the limits of the Budget- how his House is organized and how the funds thereby are assignated. Should individual expenditures within the three components of the Budget be made transparent for everyone, this is not consistent with Article 41 of the Constitution.
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  #96  
Old 02-21-2016, 07:13 AM
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[...] An issue that would make sense -namely to decrease the private income of the king and queen to the max. level that is allowed for people in civil service- is never touched.
To be fair, that issue has been raised so now and then. For the last in 2014. See link. In the Netherlands there is a regulation that top civil servants can not have more salary than the Prime Minister.

The income of the King however is no "salary" as the Prime Minister, or a general, or you and me, receive. It is established by Law and Parliament decides upon this. So the regulation for top civil servants has no workings over the King's income.

There is however a relation with civil servants: via a sort of calculation the income of the King is based on the income of the Vice-President of the Council of State. And it is indexed by the general pay rise for all civil servants.
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  #97  
Old 02-21-2016, 07:16 AM
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The Dutch have one of the most complete and transparant overviews of all costs. The Belgians have a lot of "hidden costs". For an example the palaces and castles are owned by the Donation Royale, which was a gift from Leopold II to the State of Belgium. The costs of the palaces are administered at the Donation Royale but in fact these should be attributed to the monarchy as the Donation Royale is owned by the State. It is often just a matter of definitions and choices.

In the Budget 2016 and the Note on the state of the kingdom's finances 2015, which were presented today (Prinsjesdag) it became clear that 750.000 Euro was spent on a new telephone system for the Royal House. The budget was 250.000 Euro but exceeded with 500.000 Euro (!). There was no need for extra money because it was covered with money initiated for other posts. All communication infrastructures in the palaces have been modernized and the telephone systems are extra secured and state-of-the-art for current times.
The Donation Royale is independent of the State and is actually self-funded. It is wrong to mix it with the King's grant then.
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  #98  
Old 02-21-2016, 09:38 AM
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The Donation Royale is independent of the State and is actually self-funded. It is wrong to mix it with the King's grant then.
In the one country the palaces are directly on the State's Budget (the Netherlands) in the other country it goes via the Patrimonio Nacional (formerly Patrimonio Real), like Spain. In Belgium it goes via the Koninklijke Schenking / Donation Royale but as this was a gift to the State it can not be overlooked when you want to know what the costs are for the residences in use by the monarchy.

King Willem-Alexander makes use of various estates, directly administered by the State, via the Rijksvastgoedbedrijf (State Real Estate Agency). King Felipe makes use of various estates, administered via the Patrimonio Nacional. King Philippe makes use of various estates, administrated via Koninklijke Schenking / Donation Royale.

In the end all three of these are funded by the State. It is true that the Koninklijke Schenking / Donation Royale has own assets to finance the upkeep, but who owns this Trust? Yes.... indeed, the State of Belgium. It is not correct to compare the costs of the monarchies while in the one monarchy the costs for the upkeep of the palaces are included and in the other it is not.

The Palacio Real in Madrid is THE biggest palace in Europe. The costs for maintaining this enormous building must be astronomic. The King makes use of these premises. Of course, it has mainly a museal destination, but that is the same for the Royal Palace in Amsterdam, which is also only so now and then used but the costs are attributed to the King as well, leading to a total annual cost of around 100 million Euro of having a monarchy in the Netherlands. Shockingly expensive but it is also just a honest and open amount.
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  #99  
Old 02-27-2016, 05:59 AM
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"When the King is criticized, it's always about money"
Als er kritiek is op de koning, dan gaat het altijd over geld | NOS

translated
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  #100  
Old 02-27-2016, 06:53 AM
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On itself it is a good report for the King: no any political problem concerning his functioning: 100% congruent with the Government.

The author is wrong in attributing 27 million of "onkostenveergoeding" (reimbursement of costs) to the King. Willem-Alexander gets 4,5 million for additional costs. The other millions are in the Budget "The King" for the staffing of the Household, for the State Information Service, for the Military House of the King, for the King's Cabinet, for the Royal Mews, for the Royal House Archives, etc. so really not his "onkostenvergoeding", as if he has 27 million a year to spend on Hermès bags.

The dude just wants to frame it in a certain way to see if he can stir up things.
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