UK to Queen: Get a 'Grip' on Your Budget

She's down to $1.7M, officials say

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 28, 2014 9:36 AM CST

(Newser) – 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."

In this June 26, 2012 file photo, Britain's Queen Elizabeth II arrives for a Service of Thanksgiving in Saint Macartin's Cathedral in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland.
In this June 26, 2012 file photo, Britain's Queen Elizabeth II arrives for a Service of Thanksgiving in Saint Macartin's Cathedral in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland.   (AP Photo/Peter Morrison, File)
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