The royal family will have to pay tax, pay rent on their palaces and lose their right to free air travel if proposals from the Labour party get majority support in parliament.
The royal family budget is set to be discussed today and a majority of MPs back ending the queen’s tax free status, according to Tuesday’s Volkskrant.
‘Everyone has to tighten their belts and that includes the highest in the land,’ said Labour MP Jeroen Recourt.
Recourt also wants more clarity on the royal family’s spending. ‘The budget may have been modernised but there are still many hidden elements,’ he said. ‘I want that to be clearer.’
In particular, Recourt is concerned about the blurring of the line between the family’s public role and private spending.
The MP is not calling for a reduction in the queen, prince Willem-Alexander and princess Maxima’s annual allowances. ‘A queen should not have to make a state visit in dresses from [high-street retailer] H&M,’ he said.
However, according to the Telegraaf, a majority of VVD MPs want the government to cut the royal family’s basic allowance – unchanged next year at €7.2m. The party is set to urge the prime minister to cut the royals’ budget from 2013.
There is considerable pressure from parliament for a change in the royal family’s role. The queen, for example, is officially head of the government and is central in the formation of new coalitions.
A survey for Nos television by Synovate found that 75% of the Dutch do not want the role of the monarchy to be purely ceremonial and two-thirds think Willem-Alexander should modernise the institution when he takes over from his mother.
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