The Dutch royal family is more than good value for money, finance minister Wouter Bos said on Wednesday, in response to suggestions that queen Beatrix’s budget should be cut as one of the government’s planned cost savings.
On Tuesday, it emerged government spending on the royal family will be at least €40m this year, excluding the cost of security, state visits and maintaining the palaces. Of that Beatrix gets a ‘salary’ of €834,000 and almost €4.3m in expenses.
‘I am not sure if this is an area where we should be cutting. Since last year there has been a major move to make the royal household’s budget more transparent,’ Bos said. ‘Personally, I think our royal family is more than worth the money.’
Some MPs have also called for cuts in royal spending.
During Wednesday’s debate on the government’s spending plans, PVV leader Geert Wilders said the queen, crown prince Willem-Alexander and princess Máxima should all have their personal allowances cut by 20%. The government wants to cut spending by 20% overall from 2011.
He was supported by the Socialist Party, left-wing greens GroenLinks and other fringe parties. GroenLinks leader Femke Halsema said the royal family should also pay inheritance and income tax.
But Christian Democrat leader Pieter van Geel refused to be drawn on the issue. ‘I am not going to discuss individual budgets now,’ he said.
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