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22 June 2010

Budget announcement on the Civil List for 2011

In his Budget statement today the Chancellor announced that payment to the Civil List for calendar year 2011 will be unchanged at £7.9m. Royal Household spending on support of The Queen in Her duties as Monarch in 2011 will fall from £15.1m to £14.9m. The £7m difference will be financed from the Civil List Reserve.

From 2012, support of The Queen in Her official duties will be simplified. Building on the transparency that already applies to royal finances, the Government and Royal Household will develop a new system of consolidated finance. This simpler approach will be conducive to greater efficiency and promote public understanding of Royal finances.

The Chancellor also announced, with the support of the Royal Household, that from 2012 the National Audit Office (NAO) will be responsible for the audit of the Civil List accounts and lay them in Parliament.  This will align the Royal Household’s business accounts to the same standard of scrutiny as Government departments. This approach will also be extended to any new system of consolidated finance.

Notes for editors

  1. The Civil List is government support for The Queen to carry out her public duties and meets central staff costs and running expenses. It does not relate to The Queen’s private activities.
  2. Payments of the Civil List remain at the level set in 1990. This means the real value of the payment is down 76%.
  3. The Civil List Reserve is a fund built up through careful housekeeping since 1990.
  4. The Civil List Act 1972 requires a statement to Parliament at least every ten years on support for the Monarch and, in the current case, by 3rd July at the latest.
  5. A statement on future support from 2012 will be made when the government has had time to consider the matter, with the Royal Household, in appropriate depth.
  6. NAO audit automatically permits the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to scrutinise Civil List expenditure if they choose. Because of other grants that the Royal Household receives, there is already a record of Parliamentary scrutiny. For example, there was a PAC hearing on maintenance of the Royal palaces on 26 January 2009.

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