Prince Charles and Queen 'given £200,000 in benefits'

Feb 25, 2014

Buckingham Palace described as 'the biggest council house in Britain' as royal estates cash in

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THE estates of Prince Charles and the Queen reportedly received more than £200,000 in housing benefits for their tenants last year.

The Crown Estate was paid £38,539 in housing benefit payments by just one council last year, while the Duchy of Cornwall received at least £163,000, according to the Daily Mirror.

Campaigners have called for regulation of the amount of housing benefit that is paid to landlords, saying the money was helping them to "grow their property empires" rather than helping poor people.

Defend Council Housing, a campaign group, described Buckingham Palace as "the biggest council house in Britain" and called for a cap on housing benefits for landlords.

A spokeswoman for the group said more than £9bn will be paid this year to private landlords, adding that "taxpayers' money is being used to line the pockets of wealthy landlords and property speculators".

But Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary, has rejected a cap on landlord's housing benefit payments, saying: "I suspect you would end up with fewer landlords actually making properties available."

According to the National Housing Federation, housing benefits might be paid directly to landlords rather than tenants in cases where a tenant does not have a bank account, to reduce the risk of people losing their homes or to offer financial security to landlords, thus maximising their capacity to deliver affordable homes.

The Crown Estate said its properties are let to a range of tenants, including those who may receive housing benefit. "As with any landlord, there are some cases where tenants receive housing benefit and the rent is paid directly by the local authority from the tenant's benefit to the landlord," it said. "All of the Crown Estate's profits are returned to the Treasury each year for the benefit of the nation's public finances."

The Duchy estate, which is worth £847m and exempt from tax, paid Charles £19m last year while the Queen is worth £320m, says the Mirror. Meanwhile, the Crown Estate is said to be worth £8.6bn.

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It would be interesting to know why the Duchy of Cornwall estate is exempt from tax.

Off with their heads!

Right on, off with their hollow heads

I would like to take this opportunity to remind readers that back during the Queen's jubilee, one of the buffoons in Cabinet, a Mr Michael Gove, suggested that we poor tax payers in addition to the lavish funding that we provide to the Royals, ALSO fork out several hundred million for a new yacht for Her Majesty, as a gift to our sovereign. Surely with such vast wealth and perks, it is Her Majesty who should occasionally show some generosity to her subjects. Paying for a new school or Hospital would have been a nice Jubilee gift to the nation. Why are still paying these useless royal freeloaders in a 21st century democracy ???

It was an agreement reached between the government of the day and the Duchy whereby an exemption was granted in lieu of Charles receiving money from the civil list.

That agreement was clearly unfair and should be reviewed. There is no reason why the Duchy of Cornwall is treated as an offshore tax haven for the benefit of a very small number of rich people.