Royal budget probed by ex finance minister

Former finance minister Gerrit Zalm is to head up the investigation into the cost of maintaining the royal family, magazine Elsevier said on Thursday.

His appointment marks the next stage in a delicate process of ending the financial chaos surrounding spending on queen Beatrix and her close family.
Although the cost of the monarchy is said to have totalled €114m last year, a number of expenses have since proved to be wrong, such as the cost of running the royal yacht De Groene Draeck and the amount spend on air travel.
And according to the Volkskrant, the queen’s household overspent its official budget by €650,000 – a shortfall ‘secretly’ covered by the home affairs ministry.
One reason for the lack of clarity, which is also said to irritate the queen, is that spending is spread across a number of ministries all of which used different methods to calculate the costs.
Prime minister Jan Peter Balkenende has already said that from next year, all costs must be cleared through his department.

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