MPs debate the cost of running the royal household on Tuesday and are demanding much greater transparency about the amount of money the royals cost the taxpaper, Nos television reports.
MPs feel that too high expenditure makes the family vulnerable, the broadcaster said. There has been considerable debate recently about costs associated with the king’s holiday home in Greece as well as the amount of money being spent on rebuilding palaces.
The cost of a security fence at the Greek villa – paid for by the taxpaper but costing €400,000 for the temporary use of a piece of land worth a fraction of that – hit the headlines this summer.
The cost of renovated a new pied a terre in The Hague for €8.37m for the former queen Beatrix also raised eyebrows as has a €460,000 bill for building temporary offices in the grounds of the Eikenhorst country house where the king currently lives with his family.
In addition, the Huis ten Bosch palace, where the king and his family will eventually move, is being renovated for €35m. It is the first time substantial work has been carried out on the building since 1981.
MPs want prime minister Mark Rutte to be more open about the costs and to communicate them better. At the moment some spending is hidden, MPs say. For example, the cost of building a pier for the king’s speedboat was described as ‘coastal works’.
D66 leader Alexander Pechtold says in Tuesday’s Volkskrant that spending should be tempered. The paper said at the weekend renovations on all the royal homes and offices will have cost €127m by the time the work is completed.
‘At times when people are worried about their jobs and income, high government spending on palaces and holiday houses raises perfectly understandable questions,’ he said.
ChristenUnie leader Arie Slob wants to know if it is really so necessary to work on so many buildings used by the Oranjes at the same time.
The Dutch royal family is considered to be the most expensive in Europe, and costs the taxpayer some €40m a year, excluding security.
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