Billions for palaces nothing for people

I do like the Royal Family, even if the Queen is a cousin loving elitist, but the recent bill for an ‘overdue’ refurbishment on Buckingham Palace is a fucking disgrace. The ten-year projet will cost over £350m and if we’re honest, will probably rise to past the £400m mark due to natural fluctuation in prices.

The cost includes new boilers, to reduce its carbon footprint by 1/5, miles of new wiring and pipe work that if not fixed could lead to  a ‘catastrophic building failure’ according to officials.

I know that the Royals are a big cornerstone of British society and bring many tourists to London each year but to me, a harder line must be taken when it comes to funding them.

The country is going through economic uncertainty and Chancellor Philip Hammond has made it clear that he would be freeing up hundreds of millions to ‘safeguard’ the nations infrastructure post Brexit.

Now, the Crown Estate does bring in a lot of tax. It handed over £300m last year and helps many charitable causes which, of course, is great. Refurbishing the whole palace though seems a bit much.

Many politicians wanted to see the issue take to the floor to discuss, scrutinise and debate the matter so the figures would be made public but the Tories instead declined.

If the major works were to be undertaken like the wiring, piping and boilers, then I’m sure there wouldn’t be so much of a problem. It’s the fact that miles of flooring and other aesthetics are to be replaced that, until proven otherwise, I’m sure aren’t a safety concern.

This story has pissed me off more because all I have read lately is how the government doesn’t have the funding for the NHS, schools, mental health facilities,  homelessness prevention and social housing.

Currently there are 1.2 million people on the social housing list and yet there is not enough funding to build the houses needed. There are veterans who fought in two unwanted wars, committing suicide because there isn’t access to mental health services but we can put billions into a new Trident system.

There are hundreds of people sleeping rough in London with nowhere to go because clinics and homeless shelters do not receive the funding they need.

Westminster Palace has had a £4bn renovation plan backed while NHS England continue to fail to hit targets and under-perform to the point where they have admitted they are putting their patients at risk.

I know three hundred and eighty odd million wont save the NHS, won’t eradicate homelessness or solve mental health issues but it is definitely not a sum of money to be pissed away on new curtains and lino.

We must all come together and muck in from time to time. That includes politicians forgoing works on Parliament and the Royals saying they don’t need new carpets to free-up money for those in need.

It’s a eutopic thought that these people, some elected, others born Regal, will ever put themselves into a position to get down and help those in need. I know that Prince Harry served in Afghanistan and Prince William is working as an Air Ambulance pilot which he donates his £40,000 a year salary to the charity.

It is all commendable but they seem to be the only ones actually doing a manual labour job and one that fits the common person.

I know that the thousands of signatures calling for the refurbishment to be stopped will be ignored and the works will go ahead. I just want to see someone in power use their common sense and think about those in need instead of those who aren’t.

 

 

 

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3 thoughts on “Billions for palaces nothing for people

  1. It’s a disgrace really I agree, it just shows again that the top 1% in this country, the elites, have managed to escape the hardships of austerity over the past 6 years and then the poorest, disabled people, students and the NHS are all left to carry the burden of the failures of neo-liberalism banking. If we’re truly so poor we can’t afford to fund the NHS or have free university education, then why are politicians always able to find cash for refurbishing palaces and wars? Mhairi Black’s speech on this issue in Parliament recently was very good at pointing out the absurdity of this.

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  2. But hang on why should the Country’s leading council tenant pay for the repairs? Landlords pay for building repairs not tenants. The Queen does not own Buck House, we do. She pays for Windsor and Sandringham and Balmoral because she owns those herself.

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    1. Sorry for the late reply insubordinatecavalier I’ve only just seen the notification.

      I completely understand your point but are you really comparing generic council house tenants, who can’t afford a property or have nowhere else to go, to a multi-millionaire monarch?

      The Queen is not short of cash and could at least contribute to the cost of the repairs that are not essential. The costs have to be recovered somewhere and it will once again fall to public taxes to pay for everything even though we as the public will never actually see the finished works.

      The fact that there are people in dire need of help that won’t receive it because there is ‘not enough money’ compounds the lack of fairness of the situation.

      The Queen did inherit the Balmoral and Sandringham estates from her father after his death but Buck House and Windsor Castle are both state owned. This point is very important as after the Windsor Castle fire in 1992 there was a standoff on who should pay the £35m odd bill for the repairs. The Queen put in £2m of her own money and opened up parts of Buck House for tourists charging £8 a ticket to raise extra funds.

      It begs the question why this can not be done again seeing as she has private residences and would only need to open up parts of the Palace. I think people would happily pay ten to fifteen pounds for entrance which will be a huge tourist attraction.

      There are ways around this situation without the total burden falling on the tax payer and government.

      Thank you for reading the blog post and commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

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