NAO reveals Royal estate subsidies

Members of the Royal family are benefiting from housing subsidies paid for by taxpayers to the sum of tens of thousands of pounds, according to a National Audit Office report.

The Duke of York and the Earl of Wessex, Princes Andrew and Edward, have gained leases at vastly reduced prices from the Crown Estate, said the NAO. The estate is supposed to hand over its surplus revenue to the government, but this figure is reduced significantly if the tenants pay less than the market rate.

Prince Andrew reportedly paid £1m for a 75-year lease on the Royal Lodge in Windsor Great Park two years ago, working out at £265 a week. It has a market value of around £20m. Meanwhile Prince Edward rents the 57-room Bagshot Park in surrey, worth £10m, for £90,000 a year.

Ian Davidson MP and member of the Commons public accounts committee, said in The Times: ‘This report reveals yet another example of hidden subsidies to the royal family. This time, it seems, the most generous system of housing benefit anywhere in Britain.’

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