Treasury must watch over Royal Household finances

THE QUEEN’S FINANCES are in a poor state, and the Treasury must take a stronger oversight role in the finances, the government’s watchdog has urged.

A report by the Public accounts Committee has found that the Royal Household had to draw down £2.3m from its £3.3m reserve fund, after overspending beyond its £31m grant. The £1m left in the fund at March 2013 was described by the committee as “historically low”.

It called on the household to improve budget planning for the longer term, with the Treasury more actively involved in reviewing the household.

The household also has a maintenance backlog that must be dealt with – again, with the Treasury involved.

While income has increased by 11%, expenditure has reduced by only 5% – a figure that could be improved with “better commercial expertise in place”.

“We feel that The Queen has not been served well by the Household and by the Treasury, which is responsible for effective scrutiny of the Household’s financial planning and management,” said Hodge in a statement. “We believe that The Treasury has a duty to be actively involved in reviewing the household’s financial planning and management – and it has failed to do so.”

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