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.