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The Standard

Cleaning up after the royals

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 pm, April 22nd, 2011 - 14 comments
Categories: colonialism, cost of living, republic, tax, uk politics, wages - Tags:

Buckingham Palace cleaners aren’t even paid the London living wage while the British taxpayer will have to pay for the royal wedding cleanup. That’s one reason why I’m a republican. The Globe and Mail reports:

The cost of cleaning the streets of Westminster the day before the wedding is estimated by the council at $83,000. Cleaning up afterward will be a bigger expense: After the 1997 funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales, the cleanup cost was $617,000, or $837,000 in today’s currency, and the wedding will cover a larger area; some accountants estimated the cleaning costs in the millions.

Meanwhile the Star reports the palace cleaners aren’t even paid the London living wage.

The 25 mostly immigrant workers who dust and mop Buckingham Palace, the palace mews, Clarence House and St. James Palace get paid £6.45 (NZ$13.33) an hour. That’s over the national minimum wage of £5.93 (NZ$12.25) but well under the £7.85 (NZ$16.22) an hour set for the London Living Wage.

You can join their online petition here. I have; I wouldn’t like to live in London on 33 cents more than our minimum wage.

The Globe and Mail has More about the costs.(Figures are converted to NZ dollar equivalents).

The biggest cost of the wedding by far will be the $8.4-billion price of shutting down the British economy for 24 hours by declaring next Friday a national holiday, according to estimates from the Confederation of British Industry, the country’s major corporate lobby group. That will be a painful blow for a country that faces a fiscal deficit of  $337-billion this year – and, to make matters worse, the wedding falls amid a cluster of other holidays, leaving only three working days between April 22 and May 2. Many businesses are expected to stay shut through the entire 10-day period, a string of lost productivity that could remove $62-billion from economic output, according to an estimate by accounting firm RSM Tenon. The official costs of the event are expected to exceed $102.6-million, and many of these will simply be grossly oversized versions of the usual wedding costs (the average British wedding, according to one study, is $38,000).The Queen, whose personal wealth is estimated at $598-million, has pledged to pay for a share of the wedding, though officials from Clarence House, the office of Prince Charles, said in a briefing this week that the Royal Family’s input would be “in the six figures, not in the seven figures.”

There will no doubt be a lot of people out on the streets to watch. It will be interesting to see how that compares with the 500,000 who were protesting last month about the savage budget cuts imposed by the Conservative-Liberal government.

The ancient Romans kept the people mused with bread and circuses; there’s no bread for the cleaners in this circus though.

14 comments on “Cleaning up after the royals”

  1. M 1

    Good one Mike – signed the petition.

    The costs for the royal wedding are outrageous but what got me was the average cost of a wedding for the average Joe – $38K? Hell, that’s a downpayment on a house.

  2. Carol 2

    Thanks, Mike. And damn!  i’m paying some Uk tax on my UK retirement pensions, and the royal household gets enough UK taxpayer money to pay their cleaners a decent wage.  Signed the petition.
    But, in the long term, the whole royal shenanigans has got to go.

  3. Isn’t Kate’s… sorry, it’s meant to be “Katherine’s” all of a sudden… dad meant to pay for it all though? 😉

    As an aside, apparently he’s an airline steward but, when a newspaper used the phrase “following in his father’s footsteps” (his father was a pilot) he made no effort to correct the mistaken impression it left, and thus the MSM now regularly, and erroneously, refer to him as “a former airline pilot”.

    OIh, and while we’re on the subject of gossip (well I am, anyway 😛 ) apparently Kate… sorry, Katherine… and her sister Pippa are known as “the wisteria sisters” because they are “highly decorative and terribly fragrant with a ferocious ability to climb”.

    Now back to your regular programming…

  4. Bazar 4

    Wow, i can hardly believe i’ve read an article that seems to be suggesting it’d be a good thing if workers were forced to work, instead of being given a day off.
    I feel like i’ve read some sort of right-wing blog.
    But yes, the wedding is a mixed bag. Saying that, the royals are a HUGE tourism attraction. Visitbritan.com estimates that the royal family attracts 500 million pounds of tourism per year, and the royal wedding is going to vastly inflate that number this year.
    So something to keep in mind, the royal family isn’t just a tax burden. Of which NZ pays nothing to the UK.
    The boon to the local and national economy and tourism is going to greatly offset, if not outright profit from the wedding. National Holiday aside.
    Anyway, let the royals and the brits have their fun in the sun.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 4.1

      “NZ pays nothing for the Royal Family”

      Of course not , but we do pay heaps for her stand- in the Governor General , have you not been reading the papers?
      Plus  we pay for everything for the royals to visit us. Including those lower down the food chain

      • Bazar 4.1.1

        Don’t quote phrases that i never said
        You misquoted me, and then corrected the strawman.
        As for costs, its a large legal and diplomatic service, not some sort of royal benefit package.

  5. Colonial Viper 5

    Wow, i can hardly believe i’ve read an article that seems to be suggesting it’d be a good thing if workers were forced to work, instead of being given a day off.

    Man you are reading shit into this which isn’t there.
    I think the main comment is that cleaners are underpaid, and the Royals are going to rely on the city council to clean up after them.

    • Bazar 5.1

      “Man you are reading shit into this which isn’t there.”

      So having half the article be about the costs to the economy from a day off work, was just bad editing?

      Or are you suggesting that the day off isn’t a bad thing, but the costs associated with having the day off is? Which would prove an inability to understand cause and effect.

  6. Bill 6

    A paid day off work. Tick.
    And a ceremony for those who emotionally or psychologically relate to ceremony?  Tick.
    Rich people contracting out for cleaning services and those cleaners getting paid close to min wage? Y-nah. What’s new? I support them, but there are plenty of low wage battles right here in NZ to be fought and that we can have a far bigger impact on .
    The CBI whining about lost economic activity? Whatever.

  7. I have said before and will continue to say,I have had personal experience living in their rented houses and indirectly working for them.Take it from me they are a mean arrogant lot .

  8. Sanctuary 9

    After all the excitement of the royal wedding, our local royalists will get their payback when Wills and Kate come here for the RWC… To cheer on England.

  9. loz 10

    ffs will you people come live in the real world, people out here are struggling to fill the car with fuel, to get to work, let alone wasting money on parties. And the royals bring in tourists, which make a mess which the british tax payer cleans up and then some of them dont go home, so we pay for them out of our tax too.

    Weddings for real people, around £5,000 total, some couples even less, watch your own media programmes like: 4 weddings, some spend £1,000 – richer people maybe £10,000, people with trust funds maybe more and those older and late marriers, can spend what they like, but a young couples just out of Uni, it is around £10,000 tops with loans and help from the family …………

    but on a daily basis the couple dont have half a forest put in the church, (20 foot trees ffs what was that stupid female on when she said yes to that?) shut the country down, or invite a load of people they dont know! you cannot tell me those brats had either met or knew personally 99% those people in the abbey.

    Those two would have got my respect if they had got married at windsor (like his father) on a saturday and only invited people they knew – then paid for the clean up of Windsor themselves with the 6 figure sum from his grandmother. Other royals have done it and are happily married without the press up their noses, thinking these two going to be ringing the press everytime they want to be noticed because neither do anything to benefit the country EXCEPT TAKE FROM THE PURSE.

    And dont forget he is a total millionaire in his own right without the Civil Purse he dips in to. WISTERIA SISTERS LMFAO thats about right!!!!

  10. loz 11

    Rex – we have to call the female brat Katherine because she got married on St Catherine’s Day.

    Didn’t you see the programme where her family think the countrymen/women of this island should now curtsey to them (not in this lifetime)…

    And she didnt end up the princess of wales (whales more like it). She is just a Duck of somewhere, lol rotf, that must have hurt her family cos they already called her princess……..

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