Prime minister Mark Rutte has defended the hike in allowances for the Dutch royal family and their tax free status, arguing that ‘a deal is a deal’.
The government announced in September that the king is to get a pay rise of €43,000, his mother €24,000 and wife Máxima €17,000. The increase is due to their salaries being linked to civil service pay.
Speaking during a debate on spending on the royals on Wednesday evening, Rutte said it was correct that the king did not pay inheritance tax and that he did not pay tax on his income and some assets.
‘They do pay value added tax, tax on their private assets and property taxes,’ the prime minister said.
The prime minister said it is important that members of the royal family are financially independent. Much of their money is in foundations, which do not pay tax.
The taxpayer also picks up the bill for security, rebuilding palaces and the former queen’s yacht De Groene Draeck.
The prime minister did say an independent bureau had been asked to look into the cost of running the boat, which is put at €95,000 a year.
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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