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-   -   Costs and Finances of the Belgian Royal Family (http://www.theroyalforums.com/forums/f29/costs-and-finances-of-the-belgian-royal-family-16470.html)

Duc_et_Pair 09-15-2016 03:33 AM

Nine out of ten (!) people from the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium have problems with the annual grants to members of the royal family. They find that former King Albert, Princess Astrid and Prince Laurent should not get money, if they do not properly perform their duties. According to a survey by the VTM program Royalty amongst 1000 people.

Most respondents also thought the government should better check whether members of the royal family indeed perform their duties. Royal grants remain a source of debate. The royal family self feeds the discussion. So was Prince Laurent found to have abused his grant: he had to return 16.000 Euro to the Treasury. Recently former Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo stated that the abdicated King Albert thought his annual grant of 923.000 Euro was not sufficient. Since his abdication the former King barely appeared on the public stage. For three consecutive years the former King did not attend the Fête Nationale.

These cases have influenced how people from the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium look to these royal grants. Nine out of ten people have problems with the annual grants to members of the royal family. More than 85 percent of respondents also feel that the government should ensure that members of the royal family fulfill their tasks.

Regardless of this, more than nine in ten respondents thought that the grants to former King Albert, Princess Astrid and Prince Laurent should be restricted or abolished. More than eight out of ten respondents also thought that Princess Astrid and Prince Laurent just have to go to work and earn their own living.

The figures show even that barely 1 in 5 of the respondents have confidence in former King Albert since he is no longer a head of state. King Philippe has a better score: 63,1 percent of the respondents have confidence in him as head of state. The inquiry was ordered by the program Royalty from the Dutch-speaking Belgian network VTM.

Source: "Dotaties Laurent en Astrid afschaffen" - HLN.be

Duc_et_Pair 09-15-2016 03:53 AM

After his abdication the annual grant to former King Albert is half a million Euro less than was promised. Therefore the former King is still not pleased. When the former King discussed the intention to abdicate, the then Prime Minister Mr Elio Di Rupo (Parti Socialiste) already committed an annual grant of 1.4 million Euro. It turned out that the then Vice-Prime Minister, Mr Alexander De Croo (Flemish Liberals) did not agree with such a high amount.

On July 21 2013 Prince Philippe did succeed his father. A week earlier the Government decided to grant the abdicated King 923.000 Euro per year. This is bruto: the King still had to pay taxes over it. In the program Autopsy on RTBf radio (the French-speaking public channel) former Prime Minister Mr Elio Di Rupo told that he was in favor of a much higher amount: "I found that the grant should be similar to the situation in the Netherlands." (Princess Beatrix receives an indexed grant, at the moment 1.464.000 Euro, free of taxation).

Former Prime Minister Mr Elio Di Rupo: "I suggested 1.4 million, but that amount was also a sort of recognition for the work he has done. He was the King who kept the country together. To my dismay, inside the Government I was faced with opposition by the Flemish Liberals." Mr Alexander De Croo, back then Vice-Prime Minister and responsible for pensions, confirmed that he did not agree with the amount as proposed by Mr Di Rupo: "As monarch Albert II absolutely did what was expected of him, so he certainly had the right to a proper grant. But I found the proposal from Di Rupo too generous. That was nearly 100 times the average pension of an ordinary Belgian, in a time the Government asked the people to sacrifice. Within the Government the majority of the ministers was on the same line as De Croo: "As Heir, Prince Philippe received a grant of 923.000 euros. I found that King Albert could get the same amount after his abdication."

(Apparently the King feels betrayed because in the discussion about his desire to abdicate, logically the post-abdication arrangements were discussed and apparently the King had the reassurance of the Prime Minister that he could count on an annual allowance of 1,4 million Euro. Once King Albert had abdicated, it turned out 500.000 Euro less... Not very gentlemanlike indeed.)

Source: Koning Albert boos: hij krijgt 500.000 euro minder dan Di Rupo beloofde - HLN.be

Tatiana Maria 09-17-2016 10:19 PM

:previous:
:previous:

Thank you for all the information.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Duc_et_Pair (Post 1923894)
Nine out of ten (!) people from the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium have problems with the annual grants to members of the royal family. They find that former King Albert, Princess Astrid and Prince Laurent should not get money, if they do not properly perform their duties. According to a survey by the VTM program Royalty amongst 1000 people.

Most respondents also thought the government should better check whether members of the royal family indeed perform their duties. Royal grants remain a source of debate. The royal family self feeds the discussion. So was Prince Laurent found to have abused his grant: he had to return 16.000 Euro to the Treasury. Recently former Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo stated that the abdicated King Albert thought his annual grant of 923.000 Euro was not sufficient. Since his abdication the former King barely appeared on the public stage. For three consecutive years the former King did not attend the Fête Nationale.

These cases have influenced how people from the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium look to these royal grants. Nine out of ten people have problems with the annual grants to members of the royal family. More than 85 percent of respondents also feel that the government should ensure that members of the royal family fulfill their tasks.

Regardless of this, more than nine in ten respondents thought that the grants to former King Albert, Princess Astrid and Prince Laurent should be restricted or abolished. More than eight out of ten respondents also thought that Princess Astrid and Prince Laurent just have to go to work and earn their own living.

The figures show even that barely 1 in 5 of the respondents have confidence in former King Albert since he is no longer a head of state. King Philippe has a better score: 63,1 percent of the respondents have confidence in him as head of state. The inquiry was ordered by the program Royalty from the Dutch-speaking Belgian network VTM.

Source: "Dotaties Laurent en Astrid afschaffen" - HLN.be

91% wil geen dotaties voor Laurent en Astrid | VTM NIEUWS

Grants to King Philippe & Queen Mathilde: 69.0% preserve, 25.7% restrict, 5.3% abolish
Grants to King Albert II & Queen Paola: 56.2% restrict, 34.4% abolish, 9.5% preserve
Grant to Princess Elisabeth: 39.2% restrict, 31.2% preserve, 29.6% abolish
Grant to Princess Astrid: 54.5% abolish, 35.9% restrict, 9.6% preserve
Grant to Prince Laurent: 60.5% abolish, 32.8% restrict, 6.7% preserve

Frelinghighness 09-17-2016 11:41 PM

This seems very sad

Duc_et_Pair 09-18-2016 03:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Frelinghighness (Post 1924698)
This seems very sad

For so far the Belgians are quite generous. In neighbouring Netherlands never ever anyone other than the present, the future and the former King (and their eventual spouses) have received a grant from the State.

In Belgium the Nr 12 in the line of succession (Prince Laurent) still gets an annual grant... so it was just waiting on the flood of criticism, especially with the family showing a total disfunctionality.

Marengo 02-06-2018 05:34 AM

In 2017 the private trips of the king and queen have cost the Belgian taxpayer a sum of 116.736,- euros. The costs relate to the use of an airplane of the Belgian air force. The additional costs of security etc. were not added to this sum.

The article claims that the private travels of the king and queen are more costly than their functional travel costs. This is a lie. The total costs for working trips were 335.929 euros.

No other members of the royal family have used an airplane of the defense department in 2018.

Source:
https://www.hln.be/showbizz/royalty/...-euro~a76c9b1d

***
Note:

For a comparison: the air travels of the Dutch RF were costing the Dutch taxpayer 883.000 euros in 2016.

Mbruno 02-06-2018 06:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tatiana Maria (Post 1924691)
:previous:
:previous:

Thank you for all the information.



91% wil geen dotaties voor Laurent en Astrid | VTM NIEUWS

Grants to King Philippe & Queen Mathilde: 69.0% preserve, 25.7% restrict, 5.3% abolish
Grants to King Albert II & Queen Paola: 56.2% restrict, 34.4% abolish, 9.5% preserve
Grant to Princess Elisabeth: 39.2% restrict, 31.2% preserve, 29.6% abolish
Grant to Princess Astrid: 54.5% abolish, 35.9% restrict, 9.6% preserve
Grant to Prince Laurent: 60.5% abolish, 32.8% restrict, 6.7% preserve

Princess Elisabeth doesn't get any grants (at least not yet). The poll is nonsensical then and just illustrates how badly informed the public is. They may think Astrid and Laurent are swimming in public money (which is not the case) and, most likely, they completely ignore the work they do on behalf of the Belgian state, especially Astrid with her economic/trade missions.

The Belgian RF's problem is bad PR.

Marchesina 02-06-2018 08:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Marengo (Post 2071140)
In 2017 the private trips of the king and queen have cost the Belgian taxpayer a sum of 116.736,- euros. The costs relate to the use of an airplane of the Belgian air force. The additional costs of security etc. were not added to this sum.

The article claims that the private travels of the king and queen are more costly than their functional travel costs. This is a lie. The total costs for working trips were 335.929 euros.

No other members of the royal family have used an airplane of the defense department in 2018.

Source:
https://www.hln.be/showbizz/royalty/...-euro~a76c9b1d

***
Note:

For a comparison: the air travels of the Dutch RF were costing the Dutch taxpayer 883.000 euros in 2016.

Is any other news outlet debunking this news? These sorts of articles can be extremely dangerous...

I agree with Mbruno, the RF should hire a better PR team.

Sunspot 08-20-2018 01:01 PM

What would happen to the Royal Trust and the palaces if Belgium abolishes its monarchy?

tommy100 08-20-2018 01:21 PM

I really don't know because the way they were given over to the State also had a clause the property of the royal trust would "remain at the disposal to the successors to the Belgian throne"
I guess you could interpret that two ways if the monarchy was abolished - there is no longer a throne to have successors to
or
the successors of the throne are no longer ruling but still successors

Maybe another posters know more about the Trust to be able to give a better answer.

Mbruno 08-20-2018 01:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sunspot (Post 2143298)
What would happen to the Royal Trust and the palaces if Belgium abolishes its monarchy?


The Royal Castle of Laeken and the Royal Palace of Brussels are actually owned by the Belgian state and, presumably, would continue to be so. The Royal Trust, which includes other residences such as Ciergnon, Fenffe, Stuyvenberg, Belvédère, as well as Astrid's and Laurent's villas and the greenhouses and the park of the Castle of Laeken, is a different and more complex matter.

When King Leopold II transferred his private assets to the Trust, his donation was explicitly conditional on three terms: that the land and buildings would never be sold, that they would have to retain their function and appearance, and that they would remain at the disposal of the successors to the Belgian throne. If Belgium becomes a republic, there won't be a throne to succeed to, but I suppose the royal family could make a legal case that that they are perpetually entitled to the right of disposal over the Trust assets under the terms of the donation. It remains to be seen whether they would succeed in court or not.

Anyway, your question is purely speculative, as was a similar question asked in the British forums about the future of the revenue from the Crown estate and the Duchies of Lancaster and Cornwall if Britain became a republic. Nobody can know for sure in my humble opinion.




EDIT: There is a page on the Belgian monarchy site (click on this link ), which mentions the three conditions above and also provides further information on the Royal Trust.

Stefan 08-20-2018 01:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mbruno (Post 2143308)
The Royal Castle of Laeken and the Royal Palace of Brussels are actually owned by the Belgian state and, presumably, would continue to be so. The Royal Trust, which includes other residences such as Ciergnon, Fenffe, Stuyvenberg, Belvédère, as well as Astrid's and Laurent's villas and the greenhouses and the park of the Castle of Laeken, is a different and more complex matter.

When King Leopold II transferred his private assets to the Trust, his donation was explicitly conditional on three terms: that the land and buildings would never be sold, that they would have to retain their function and appearance, and that they would remain at the disposal of the successors to the Belgian throne. If Belgium becomes a republic, there won't be a throne to succeed to, but I suppose the royal family could make a legal case that that they are perpetually entitled to the right of disposal over the Trust assets under the terms of the donation. It remains to be seen whether they would succeed in court or not.

Anyway, your question is purely speculative, as was a similar question asked in the British forums about the future of the revenue from the Crown estate and the Duchies of Lancaster and Cornwall if Britain became a republic. Nobody can know for sure in my humble opinion.




EDIT: There is a page on the Belgian monarchy site (click on this link ), which mentions the three conditions above and also provides further information on the Royal Trust.


The links asays also that the Park and Castle of Laeken are Parte of the Trust so they don't belong to the belgian State.

Mbruno 08-20-2018 02:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stefan (Post 2143317)
The links asays also that the Park Castle of Laeken are Parte of the Trust so they don't belong to the belgian State.


My understanding is that the castle itself belongs to the State, whereas the park, the greenhouses and some other buildings like the Asian pavilions are part of the Trust. But you are right that the site says "le parc et le Château", so my previous information may be wrong.


PS: I checked the Dutch and English translations of the page and they also say that the "park and the Castle" are part of the Trust. In any case, the Royal Palace of Brussels for sure is owned by the State and is not part of the Trust.


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