Sun Dec 4, 2016 9:53AM
A general view of Buckingham Palace in central London, in November 18, 2016. (Photo by AFP)
A general view of Buckingham Palace in central London, in November 18, 2016. (Photo by AFP)
  • Embed

Large sections of the British public are enraged by the announcement that the queen has been awarded a 66% pay rise to fund a £369m, 10-year refit of Buckingham Palace, after the Prime Minister and Chancellor agreed that an increase in the sovereign grant was the best way to fund urgent repairs.

The news comes a week before the government is set to announce its Autumn Statement, in which even more cuts to public spending are expected, with the poorest in society likely to be the most affected with the anticipated austerity measures.

More than 100,000 people have now signed a petition calling on the queen to pay for huge repairs to Buckingham Palace. They are angry that the royal residence will undergo a huge refurbishment with a £369-million price tag. The petition reached its target in just a couple of days after details of the refurbishment were announced.

Mark Johnson started the petition, saying, “There is a national housing crisis, the NHS is in crisis, and austerity is forcing cuts in many frontline services... Now the royals expect us to dig deeper to refurbish Buckingham Palace. The crown’s wealth is inestimable. This is, in a word, outrageous.”

According to a Reuters estimate, the British monarchy has nominal assets worth about 22.8 billion pounds, which has left many people asking why the royal household can’t pay for the refurbishments itself.

Labour and Scottish National Party politicians questioned why the monarch was getting so much more money at a time of austerity.