It's time for Queen Elizabeth to "get a much firmer grip" on her dwindling supply of cash, members of Britain's Parliament say: The royal cash reserve is down to 1 million pounds, or about $1.7 million, according to their report. That's a "historic low," they say; in 2001, the figure was almost $58 million, the Guardian reports. At the heart of the problem, according to the Telegraph, is overspending by the queen's courtiers; MPs say it's time for them to take money advice from the Treasury. In 2012-2013, the Royal Household received more than $51 million in taxpayer funds, NBC News reports.
The financial woes come at a time when Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle could really use some cash: Deteriorating conditions are forcing workers to catch rain in buckets, the Telegraph reports. Bills are hitting more than $1 million a year, thanks in part to aging boiler equipment. (Maybe that's why the next royal bath-runner will make just $23,000 a year.) Meanwhile, income has improved, but not enough, says an MP. "Since 2007-08, the household has cut its net costs by 16% in real terms, but 11% of that was achieved by increasing income and just 5% by reducing expenditure," Margaret Hodge says. "With better commercial expertise in place, we think there is room to do more with less."