The dangers of royal austerity

In: Uncategorized

6 Jul 2010

It is hard to avoid the conclusion that the story about Britain’s “austerity queen” is another part of “softening up” the public for austerity (see my latest spiked article for more on this tactic).

According to the front page of yesterday’s Evening Standard, a daily London freesheet:

“The Queen is engaged in an unprecedented austerity drive as accounts reveal she will run out of money within two years.”

According to the newspaper the queen is slashing spending on every area including stationery, staff, uniforms and soft furnishings. Senior staff are enduring a salary and recruitment freeze.

The obvious implication here is that she is setting an example which we should all follow. Everyone needs to make sacrifices for the sake of the nation.

This is an argument that should be resisted. If the wealthy want to cut their spending that is up to them. But the mass of society could and should expect higher living standards.

As it happens the end of the Standard article hints at an intriguing get-out clause for the monarch:

“Chancellor George Osborne announced as part of his Budget that the civil list payment [to the queen] will remain frozen for the coming year. But he hinted that ‘a new means of consolidated support’ would be proposed at a later date.”