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  #261  
Old 10-25-2008, 03:31 PM
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Actually, I didn't know. At the time in question, I was a barely out of my teens American.

It says that the Civil list paid the Queen 7.9m in 1990/91/92. In 2006, 13 years after the new agreement, she was receiving 8.1m. This does not seem like a proportional increase to me. Just some simple math taking into account the new tax benefit she would receive:

Civil list before 1993 7,900,000
Civil list after 1993 8,100,000

increase + 200,000

New reimbursements 1,254,000
(1,054,000)
+ new tax benefits est. 536,000

Cost to the Queen 519,254

I'm not trying to nitpick, but it still seems that she coming out behind from what she used to receive. My question still stands though. At what point is she entitled to disperse her own income as she sees fit?
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  #262  
Old 10-25-2008, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by kimebear View Post
Actually, I didn't know. At the time in question, I was a barely out of my teens American.... snipped....I'm not trying to nitpick, but it still seems that she coming out behind from what she used to receive.
Ah, a mere babe. I don't believe she is, as with Andrews allowance I believe the cost is being defrayed. All monies in and out were carefully juggled, IMO, to give the appearance of only a small yearly increase
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My question still stands though. At what point is she entitled to disperse her own income as she sees fit?
If it is indeed coming from her own earnings or investments, fine, but I find it hard to believe that HM still pays her children pocket money (an allowance) at their ages!
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  #263  
Old 10-25-2008, 05:26 PM
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If it is indeed coming from her own earnings or investments, fine, but I find it hard to believe that HM still pays her children pocket money (an allowance) at their ages!
Ah, and there is the rub. Since we will probably never know for sure how exactly it is calculated, we will just have to agree to disagree. One thing is for sure. I will not be paying an allowance to my children at that age!
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  #264  
Old 11-26-2008, 08:33 PM
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So, I am trying to see if I have this straight. The monies from the Crown Estate are surrendered by the monarch to the State, and in return, the State pays for the monarch's "working" expenses. Taxpayer money enters the picture, then, because citizens pay taxes to the State? What about the Duchy of Lancaster? Isn't this technically the queen's property and not the State's?

I'm sorry if I'm asking questions that have been answered elsewhere in this thread or are obvious to others: I'm not good at understanding finances in the first place and this is all foreign to me (literally, since I don't live in Britain!). It seems like it's being argued here that the State funds all the activities of all the royals. Don't they have any income that can be called "their own", through inherited properties (for example, the Duchy of Cornwall in Charles' case?) Because according to Wikipedia (and no, I know Wikipedia isn't always considered the most credible source, but it was the easiest way I could find answers to my questions!):

Quote:
The Privy Purse is the Sovereign's remaining private income, mostly from the Duchy of Lancaster. While the income is private, the Queen uses the larger part of it to meet official expenses incurred by other members of the British Royal Family. Only the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh receive payments from Parliament which are not reimbursed by the Queen.

I bolded "private" because I'm confused as to how money from the Privy Purse, if it's private, can then be considered taxpayer funded money? I keep reading on the Prince Andrew thread that whenever the Queen pays him, it's taxpayer money, yet information on the web seems to suggest that the Queen pays the lesser royals out of the Privy Purse, and the Privy Purse contains monies from the Duchy of Lancaster which are not annually surrendered to the State (unlike the monies from the Crown Estate) and are thus private...
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  #265  
Old 11-28-2008, 06:40 AM
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I keep reading on the Prince Andrew thread that whenever the Queen pays him, it's taxpayer money, yet information on the web seems to suggest that the Queen pays the lesser royals out of the Privy Purse, and the Privy Purse contains monies from the Duchy of Lancaster which are not annually surrendered to the State (unlike the monies from the Crown Estate) and are thus private...
As I said, smoke and mirrors. Every man, woman and child in the UK pays 66p each to support one of the richest families in the country. That leads to the question is it every taxpaying man, woman and child or every man, woman and child, because if it is the latter, each taxpayer is paying more than 66p each.

The Queen and the Royal Family have cost the taxpayer 40m during the last financial year - up 2m on the previous 12 months, official accounts show.

BBC NEWS | UK | Royals 'cost the taxpayer 40m'

So unless palace officials have got it wrong, the taxpayer funds the royal family. Add to that the Agricultural Grants and Allowances that HM and Charles claim, the expenses they all able to claim as 'official', the massive tax breaks, non payment of inheritance taxes, non payment of the Community Charge etc and anyone can surely see that the UK taxpayer does indeed pay HM to pay Andrew.

What HM appeared to give back, was IMO, taken in other ways, so that HM was not out of pocket.
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  #266  
Old 11-28-2008, 07:03 AM
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..... unless you start to go back to the origins of the Civil List. I have no doubt that the surplus from the Crown Estate is a lot more than the Civil List, so the true cost would, IMO, be 40m less the annual surplus from the Crown Estate... which may be a negative number (or read differently, a surplus!).

I think people need to a bit careful between stating facts and presenting their own views - can be quite dangerous if you are trading on imperfect information!
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  #267  
Old 11-28-2008, 07:14 AM
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.---snipped---- I think people need to a bit careful between stating facts and presenting their own views - can be quite dangerous if you are trading on imperfect information!
If we knew the full extent of allowances and tax breaks, the UK public might be horrified to learn just how much more they do pay to one of the richest families.

I have, IMO, clearly stated my sources and in this instant bolded so no confusion should ensue. All of the 'evidence' I have presented is available either on line or in person at the relevant departments in London.

Unless you are able to offer the same checkability, IMO, it is dishonest to try to suggest the figures released by palace officials, the beeb and HMGOV is 'imperfect', as for your 'can be quite dangerous', to whom is this, IMO, threat directed?
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  #268  
Old 11-28-2008, 07:38 AM
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I am not about to "audit" the numbers you have set out, or the sources they are drawn from. I have no doubt you have done a competent job, as royal finances come across a matter that is important to you. I don't have a detailed uinderstanding of royal finances, but do have a broad sense of some of the underlying principles.

The "original deal" between the monarchy and the Treasury was that the Crown would surrender the surplus of the Crown Estate in return for the Civil List - which is broadly designed to cover the "costs" of the monarchy, but not necessarily the "personal" costs of the monarch. The "private income" of the monarch is covered by the Duchy of Lancaster.

Two key observations:

1) The Civil List has been broadly static for quite a long time now, and the Royal Household have managed their expenses downward to take account of inflation etc over this period. You probably know the specifics around that better than I do.

2) Without having looked at the financial accounts of The Crown Estate (are they public documents?), I am reasonably confident that over time the surplus far exceeds the Civil List payments, and therefore, the true "net" cost of the monarchy should not be measured by the civil list payments, but the excess of the civil list payments over the contribution from the Crown Estates.

It is true that the monarchy "costs" c40m a year - but that is not money that is going to line the coffers of the monarch and her family. That is used to cover the costs of the royal household and all the people employed for the monarch to carry out her public duties. It is absolutely true that abolishing the monarchy would save us this 40m a year, but think how much we could save by abolishing the Home Office, or the Deptt for Work and Pensions... or even paring back the armed forces considerably. Do we really need all of them?

I just think that when people complain about the cost of the monarchy, they need to present the facts in a balanced manner. It is easy to mix facts and ones own views, and that is where we end up in dangerous territory. A lot of people who read these pages are not as familiar with a number of the "royal" issues as you are, and are quite often happy to restate what they read as the gospel - and that is truely dangerous!!
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  #269  
Old 11-28-2008, 09:23 AM
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According to Wiki the Crown Estate made a profit of 211 million in 2008 (Australian $495m, US$320m, Canadian $401m, Euro 253m)

The 40m in question would pay the operating costs of the Monarchy as a State Institution, eg staff costs, building maintenance, cleaning, communications, transportation, stationery, etc etc etc.

The Queen and the POW may well receive "agricultural grants and allowances" but I'm sure other wealthy landowners receive the same. I doubt that HM and the POW receive any of these standard governemnt grants that they are not entitled to.

As we know, HM pays tax on her private income and the POW pays a form of tax on his Duchy of Cornwall income. The non-payment of inheritance taxes only relates to Sovereign-to-Sovereign transfers, the most recent example being the estate of the late Queen Mother passing untaxed to her daughter The Queen. The bulk of this estate would have been physical assets (art works and especially jewellery).

HM would have two sources of private income: the money received from the Duchy of Lancaster and the income generated by whatever private investments she holds. The latter would only be known to HM, her financial advisers, her bankers and certain officials in the Tax office.
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  #270  
Old 11-30-2008, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by muriel View Post
I It is easy to mix facts and ones own views, and that is where we end up in dangerous territory. A lot of people who read these pages are not as familiar with a number of the "royal" issues as you are, and are quite often happy to restate what they read as the gospel - and that is truely dangerous!!
The facts are available to everyone who has access to the internet I would have thought and as I have repeatedly provided links, anyone who chooses to read this thread.

Warren - yes many very wealthy landowners also claim all the allowances that their accountants can find, the difference being that the taxpayer does not pay their 'running costs', so whether they are 'entitled to them' remains questionable. The 40m is on top of the amount allowed for maintenance of the palaces!
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The upkeep of Buckingham Palace, along with Windsor Castle, Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh and a number of other palaces, falls to the government as they are classed as occupied royal palaces, as opposed to the monarch's private homes at Balmoral and Sandringham. Officials insisted that the annual property budget of 14.5m, originally fixed in 1991, represented a 69% real-terms reduction over the period
These are 2007 figures.

Whether the QM's estate was made up of artworks, jewellery or any other non liquid assets is immaterial, as any other taxpaying (and non taxpaying) member of the public has no option but to pay inheritance tax on the value of the entire estate.

The civil list started way back in 1660, an ancient arrangement that bears revisiting. The agreement over The Crown Estate also needs to be looked at, with regard to taking the burden off the taxpayers of this country.

I just have to wonder exactly what British people get from this arrangement, forget the tourists, many would apparently come just to see the historic buildings, imagine the revenue from the Buck Palace Hotel!
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  #271  
Old 12-01-2008, 05:23 AM
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I am sure that the royal household would not object too much at the prospect of revisiting the Crown Estate arrangements. Easy choice really: monarchy costs of 40m paid by treasury vs CE profits of 211m. If I ran the royal finances, I might throw in palace maintenance for that!

As regards your comments about use of agricultural grants by HM and the PoW, its the same as wealthy people being allowed to claim child benefit or use the NHS or send their children to state schools - these are benefits provided by the state for all, and are not means tested!
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  #272  
Old 12-01-2008, 07:21 AM
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Originally Posted by muriel View Post
I am sure that the royal household would not object too much at the prospect of revisiting the Crown Estate arrangements. Easy choice really: monarchy costs of 40m paid by treasury vs CE profits of 211m. If I ran the royal finances, I might throw in palace maintenance for that!
As HM does not 'own' the Crown Estates and never has, I too am sure she would be happy to take the revenue.
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As regards your comments about use of agricultural grants by HM and the PoW, its the same as wealthy people being allowed to claim child benefit or use the NHS or send their children to state schools - these are benefits provided by the state for all, and are not means tested!
I hardly think the figures concerned are in the same league and I can't think of anyone except the Blairs (who can hardly be called 'wealthy, would claim child benefit - 977.60pa), Wealthy people are entitled to use all of the services you mention as they help to finance it, they do after all pay the full rate of tax, council tax etc.
How Prince Charles increased his profits – but paid less tax - Home News, UK - The Independent - even people of humble means go private, for education and the NHS.
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  #273  
Old 12-01-2008, 08:02 AM
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Its really about the principle. As a landowner if you are allowed certain grants and exemptions, why would you not take it?
As regards entitlement to services, the Queen now pays income tax on her personal income, as does the PoW
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  #274  
Old 12-01-2008, 08:19 AM
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Because it is dishonest? There are many grants and allowances we could claim but we don't, purely because it would be greedy! I think the expression is - whatever rocks your boat! ordinary taxpayer struggles to feed family, pay mortgage is unable to claim any help from the government, two very wealthy landowners able to claim millions..... hmmm something wrong there!

Yes they both now pay tax on their personal income, but not on other income IB. With the best accountants they can of course find a wealth of ways to avoid paying any other taxes, corporate and capital gains tax
the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the House of Commons today calls on the Treasury to justify the historic tax exemptions enjoyed by both the Duchies of Lancaster and Cornwall
ROYAL FINANCE: MPs demand review of tax paid by Charles | Independent, The (London) | Find Articles at BNET

Charles resists call for scrutiny of his estates' tax-free privileges | UK news | The Guardian
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  #275  
Old 12-01-2008, 09:24 AM
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Because it is dishonest?
Doing something by the book is not dishonest, in my book. If the Queen or Charles were over claiming for the grants they receive, or were receiving any grants that were not due to them, then they would be in wrong.

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There are many grants and allowances we could claim but we don't, purely because it would be greedy! I think the expression is - whatever rocks your boat!
Rightly so, if you choose not to claim grants that are available to you, thats entirely your outlook. But surely, its not for you to criticise those who take what is rightfully theres.

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With the best accountants they can of course find a wealth of ways to avoid paying any other taxes, corporate and capital gains tax
You have a very valid point in that over time the tax code has become very complicated, and often requires specialist advice to be able to fully interpret the laws. This is a job for the government of the day to do - and surely no right thinking person would hold the monarch responsible for a complex tax system.

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Originally Posted by Skydragon View Post
ordinary taxpayer struggles to feed family, pay mortgage is unable to claim any help from the government, two very wealthy landowners able to claim millions..... hmmm something wrong there!
We are in an unfortunate economic downturn, and a large number of people are feeling the effects of it. The government is taking a number of measures to alleviate the position of the common man - and a lot of people are right to question whether some or all of the steps being taken by the government are really going to materially affect the people (eg: VAT reduction). Fair comment, but thats a point to make to the government of the day. That has absolutely no bearing if somebody rightfully claims what is due to them under existing regulations. Apples and oranges in my book!
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  #276  
Old 12-01-2008, 03:45 PM
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The Privy Purse is simply the revenues earned from the Duchy of Lancaster. It can be considered private because the Duchy of Lancaster is a hereditary property, but it can be considered public because the Duchy of Lancaster is tied to the Crown (he who wears the crown holds the the duchy).

She is required to maintain the Duchy and preserve it so that it can continue to provide private income for her successors (that requirement is something that can be considered to make it public, because a truly private estate can be handled however the owner pleases).

The Duchy of Cornwall operates in much the same manner as the Duchy of Lancaster, in that Charles gets the revenues, but has to preserve the Duchy for his successors.

Either way, they can be considered private sources of funding for a public institution, depending on your opinion of the monarchy.
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  #277  
Old 12-01-2008, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by muriel View Post
Doing something by the book is not dishonest, in my book. If the Queen or Charles were over claiming for the grants they receive, or were receiving any grants that were not due to them, then they would be in wrong.
It is still dishonest to claim grants that you have no need of, but if you think thats OK, as I said, whatever rocks your boat.
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Rightly so, if you choose not to claim grants that are available to you, thats entirely your outlook. But surely, its not for you to criticise those who take what is rightfully theres.
Some of us have higher morals and the criticism is valid, whether you think it is 'entirely my outlook' is immaterial. These grants were not designed for the above wealthy and whether they could be considered rightfully theirs is certainly open to question by any intelligent member of the taxpaying public. Still all that is due to change in the near future and the controls being introduced should stop some of the misuse.
Quote:
You have a very valid point in that over time the tax code has become very complicated, and often requires specialist advice to be able to fully interpret the laws. This is a job for the government of the day to do - and surely no right thinking person would hold the monarch responsible for a complex tax system.
Muriel.... have you deliberatly misread/understood the point? Both Duchys enjoy a virtually tax free status, on top of the offsetting of minor perks and the garden plants. Perhaps if the monarch and her heir had not fought so hard against paying tax, the country would be a whole lot better off.
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We are in an unfortunate economic downturn, and a large number of people are feeling the effects of it. That has absolutely no bearing if somebody rightfully claims what is due to them under existing regulations. Apples and oranges in my book!
Not sure why you keep using the apples and oranges comparison to avoid the accusation of apparent greed.
My points, IMO, remain valid with or without a recession and the fact the TRH's take advantage and your attitude reminds me somewhat of Marie Antoinette.
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  #278  
Old 12-02-2008, 05:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Skydragon View Post
It is still dishonest to claim grants that you have no need of, but if you think thats OK, as I said, whatever rocks your boat. Some of us have higher morals and the criticism is valid, whether you think it is 'entirely my outlook' is immaterial. These grants were not designed for the above wealthy and whether they could be considered rightfully theirs is certainly open to question by any intelligent member of the taxpaying public. Still all that is due to change in the near future and the controls being introduced should stop some of the misuse.
As no doubt you are aware, in this country, there are certain grants that are available to everybody, and there are certain ones that are means tested. I am sure governments regularly review which grants should be means tested, and which should not. Claiming what is due to you under the laws of the country is certainly not dishonest. If the governments felt that certain sections of society should not benefit from certain laws, I am sure appropriate provisions would be put in place. We have had a Labour government for 11 years now, and if this really was a burning issue, I am sure we would have heard about it by now.


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....your attitude reminds me somewhat of Marie Antoinette.
One either buys into the concept of monarchy, or not. Preserving any institution costs money, and one that the people of this country are happy to bear. It is clear that you have a different perspective, and perhaps you do not favour a monarchy, but thats fine - the diversity in thoughts add to the vibrancy of the ongoing discussion at TRF.

My view certainly is that the senior royals are not profligate with public spending.... but my sense is you disagree with any form of public financial support for the monarchy and that is manifesting itself in your finding any form of perceived spending by the royal family objectionable, eg: the Wales boys supporting a charity event in Africa.
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  #279  
Old 12-02-2008, 06:42 AM
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As no doubt you are aware, in this country, there are certain grants that are available to everybody, and there are certain ones that are means tested.
Whether it is honest to claim them or not is still questionable, many people claim grants and benefits they have no moral, and/or legal right to. You keep skirting around whether it is honest or not, for an extremely well off family to claim extra money from the hard pressed taxpayer, by citing that there is no legal impediment to them doing so.
Quote:
One either buys into the concept of monarchy, or not. Preserving any institution costs money, and one that the people of this country are happy to bear.
Do you have anything to back up your claim that 'the British people are happy to bear
Quote:
It is clear that you have a different perspective, and perhaps you do not favour a monarchy, but thats fine - the diversity in thoughts add to the vibrancy of the ongoing discussion at TRF.
How strange, as I have stated time and again I want to ensure the monarchy exists well into the future, to do so they need the British public behind them. As more and more of the financial shananigins are disclosed, the more people begin to question their worth to the British people. Time and again now, I hear the relationship described as parasitic rather than symbiotic.
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My view certainly is that the senior royals are not profligate with public spending.... but my sense is you disagree with any form of public financial support for the monarchy and that is manifesting itself in your finding any form of perceived spending by the royal family objectionable, eg: the Wales boys supporting a charity event in Africa.
Not profligate (would that be not utterly and shamelessly immoral or dissipated; thoroughly dissolute, or not recklessly prodigal or extravagant). Again your 'sense' seems to be 'off base', , as I fully agree to supporting the senior royals financially, but there should be visible, crystal clear limits and crystal clear accounting, not the 'clear as mud' version dished out at the moment. Perceived? I have provided links not just denials or personal opinions with nothing to back it up, my sense is that if I said Black was black you would argue well actually it is the new white. As for Charles and HM paying tax on their income, it has not been disclosed whether it is the full 40% or a reduced rate. They don't pay corporate (28%) or capital tax, (40%), they don't pay National Insurance (currently 12% on earnings), they don't pay council tax, so considerable savings that are not available to other land owners, businesses or members of the public!

Charles' adult sons William and Harry hardly supported anything except having a jolly wheeze, parting with their entry fees whilst leaving the taxpayer six others (and equipment costs) to pick up, imagine if instead, they had donated the eight fees and allowed other paying participients to take part!
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Old 12-02-2008, 07:40 AM
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Whether it is honest to claim them or not is still questionable, many people claim grants and benefits they have no moral, and/or legal right to. You keep skirting around whether it is honest or not, for an extremely well off family to claim extra money from the hard pressed taxpayer, by citing that there is no legal impediment to them doing so.
The point of whether it was honest or not was raised by you.

As tax law currently stands, if we chose not to claim some grants or tax breaks that may be available to each of us, we do not have the right to choose where government spends the resultant "surplus" - so by not claiming something that is due to one, I do not necessarily believe I am contributing to the cause of the harried tax payer - I am far too pessimistic for that. Thats where the moral argument ends.

If government (or enough consituents told their MPs so) felt it appropriate for all agricultural grants to be means tested, they would be. The fact they are not only suggests that the vast majority of people (and MPs) in this country are happy with the current arrangements - if not, our democratic processes would ensure that the government of the day deals with the matter.

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As more and more of the financial shananigins are disclosed, the more people begin to question their worth to the British people. Time and again now, I hear the relationship described as parasitic rather than symbiotic.
What new shananigins might you be referring to? Ever since HM agreed to pay tax on her personal wealth since 1992, no material new tax arrangements have been agreed, as far as I know.

There appears to be a small minority of people who seem to hold views to the contrary, and they are entitled to their views - you can't always please everybody

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Do you have anything to back up your claim that 'the British people are happy to bear
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.....there should be visible, crystal clear limits and crystal clear accounting, not the 'clear as mud' version dished out at the moment.
Lets not forget that monarchy survives by the will of the people, and should that change, so will the form of government.

There is an implicit system of checks and balances in place, and it has stood the test of time reasonably well. I don't think you can have too prescriptive a system - they never work. If the vast majority of people in the country felt that the monarchy was not "good value" I have no doubt we would see change.

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As for Charles and HM paying tax on their income, it has not been disclosed whether it is the full 40% or a reduced rate. They don't pay corporate (28%) or capital tax, (40%), they don't pay National Insurance (currently 12% on earnings), they don't pay council tax, so considerable savings that are not available to other land owners, businesses or members of the public!

Charles' adult sons William and Harry hardly supported anything except having a jolly wheeze, parting with their entry fees whilst leaving the taxpayer six others (and equipment costs) to pick up, imagine if instead, they had donated the eight fees and allowed other paying participients to take part!
HM and Charles have no need to make public their personal financial arrangements, just as we do not. If the assessing officer is unhappy with the level of information he or she is provided with, I am sure the IR would ask the relevant questions.

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Charles' adult sons William and Harry hardly supported anything except having a jolly wheeze, parting with their entry fees whilst leaving the taxpayer six others (and equipment costs) to pick up, imagine if instead, they had donated the eight fees and allowed other paying participients to take part!
This was discussed ad infinitum on the appropriate thread, till the modetors asked for the discussion to be halted. I have no desire to start it again, for you have taken a view based on some press articles that you have chosen to believe (imperfect information --> imperfect "view", or put another way, GI-GO!)
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