Delegates at the Scottish National Party’s (SNP) Conference in Glasgow today voted “overwhelmingly” to repeal the Sovereign Grant Act 2011, which funds the Royal Family, so the cash could be spent “on the wider public good”.
Julie Hepburn, the party’s political education convener, who brought the resolution, claimed it was “not about your views on the monarchy” – before slating the Queen’s family and all they stand for.
She accused Westminster of changing how the Royal Household is funded to “quell any potential public opposition to the bumper rise that was coming, mainly to do up Buckingham Palace”.
The Royals used to be funded through a Civil List, paid by the Exchequer, and three Grant-in-aid funds, paid for by the Department for Transport and Department for Culture.
However that was changed with the Sovereign Grant 2011, which came into effect in 2012, to consolidate the four funding sources into a single system.
In Scotland, the Royal Family generates about £14million in revenue each year.
Responsibility for Royal assets north of the Border are being transferred from Westminster to Holyrood.
With the Sovereign Grant, Her Majesty is laughing all the way to the bank
In a stinging summing up of the Royal Family, Ms Hepburn, said: “It’s basically the equivalent of the Royal Family winning the lottery every single year.
“No need for the Royal Household to play euromillions.
“With the Sovereign Grant, Her Majesty is laughing all the way to the bank.”
She said the Grant uses the profits of the Crown estate to fund the Royals, but with two caveats, including funding “cannot fall below the previous year’s payment”.
The SNP’s Julie Hepburn slaughtered the Royal Family
The Scot added: “Two: payments are rounded up to the nearest 100 grand – good work if you can get it.
“The result, from an initial Sovereign Grant of £31million in 2002 – which is not to be sniffed at, that is a good rate of pay for charity work – to a whopping £76.1m in 2017.
“Don’t be fooled by the whole percentage of profits, like it’s extra money coming from somewhere, that’s pure smoke and mirrors – it’s just a funding formula.”
She claimed there is “no accountability”, despite the Keeper of the Privy Pruse having to publish annual financial accounts and the National Audit Office carrying out an audit.
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Not willing to leave it there, she added: “At a time when the UK Government insist we tighten our belts, particularly the most vulnerable, saying there is no money, there can be no moral justification for giving one family over £70m.
“That could pay for a lot of mobility cars.
“We need to keep taking a step back, look up and look out, see how ordinary people are being shafted by the rich elite and the odds are always staked in favour of the most privileged in our society.
“The sovereign grant is the epitome of that privilege, a symbol of everything that is rotten to the core of the UK’s political system.
“Let’s ensure public assets, like the Crown Estate, are used to benefit us all, not just a privileged few
“Repeal of the Government grant act would be a start, think of the society we could build with independence.
“One where we are all treated and respected as valued citizens, not subjects.”
Julie Hepburn said the Royals’ funding should go to communities in Scotland instead
Alison Thewliss, the SNP’s Glasgow Central MP, backed up Ms Hepburn, but held back slightly on the personal attacks.
She told Conference: “The Crown Estate should be ours and our communities should see the efforts of these huge assets.
“Royal trustees, they are unaccountable, they decided the Sovereign Grant should move from 15 to 25 profits from the year before – this could be going into our communities.
“It should not be going to support the Royal Family.”
In a final dig at Prince William and Kate, who are expecting their third child, she said: “If you have a third child, Theresa May will congratulate you, if you’re a poor couple and have a third child, Theresa May will condemn you.”