Prime minister Mark Rutte has told MPs he is ‘not enthusiastic‘ about carrying out regular audits of royal family spending because of the ‘endless discussion’ about the Oranjes’ income.
Speaking during a debate on the 5% pay rise awarded to the king and queen in the 2021 budget, Rutte said: ‘What is too much and what is too little?,’ he said. ‘There is no right answer.’
Opposition MPs and the ruling Liberal democrats of D66 have questioned the 5% pay rise given to the king and queen next year, as well as the allowance that will be paid to princess Amalia when she turns 18.
The king’s official allowance is made up of two parts – a salary of almost €1m and a further €5.1m for personnel and support. Queen Maxima gets €1.1m in total and former queen Beatrix €1.7m.
Princess Amalia will also join the list when she turns 18 in December 2021. She will be entitled to over €100,000 in December alone, as salary and support.
Rutte told MPs that while he was prepared to provide more transparency about the allowance for staff, he did not want to discuss the actual salaries because this was aimed at ensuring the family remain independent.
Last month a D66 motion calling for a five yearly audit of how the allowances are spent won majority support in parliament. The national audit office has also recommended five-yearly controls.
Currently, the three working members of the royal family receive an index-linked tax-free salary and are not required to pay gift or inheritance tax. 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.
According to 2021 budget documents, the royal family will cost the state €45,684.000 next year, excluding state visits abroad, the upkeep of palaces and security.
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