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Queen's royal household warned to rein in spending

Tuesday, January 28, 2014 - 01:21

Jan. 28 - British lawmakers tell Queen Elizabeth's royal household to cut costs as its cash reserves dwindle. Linda So reports.

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Buckingham Palace, a symbol of royalty. But what's happening behind these gates has British lawmakers issuing a stern warning to the Queen and her royal household. It's time to rein in spending. SOUNDBITE: MARGARET HODGE, MP AND CHAIR OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS SELECT COMMITTEE IN HOUSE OF COMMONS, SAYING: "It is really important that the royal household, working with the Treasury, should get better value for money for the 31 million pounds of taxpayers money they received last year, and then use that money to make sure that they really are proper guardians of the heritage properties under their wing." A government report reveals the royal family has overspent by millions, and has had to dip into reserve funds, leaving only one million pounds. All this as Buckingham Palace and the monarch's other royal residences are in desperate need of repair. Boilers are 60 years old. There's asbestos in the basement, and water from a leaky roof is collected in a bucket. British lawmakers have recommended opening the doors of the Queen's residence more often to raise money. SOUNDBITE: MARGARET HODGE, MP AND CHAIR OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS SELECT COMMITTEE IN HOUSE OF COMMONS, SAYING: "The Queen is not there all of the time, and I think more income could be generated if smarter use was made of the availability of the palace when the Queen is not in residence." A special exhibit in 2011 displaying the Duchess of Cambridge's wedding dress generated 620,000 pounds.

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Queen's royal household warned to rein in spending

Tuesday, January 28, 2014 - 01:21