Dutch Royals cost far more than budget says: report
The Royal Family costs the Netherlands society around six times more than the figures stated in the national budget, according to anti-monarchy group Republikeins Genootschap. After two years of research, the society presented its figures on the costs of the Royal House on Tuesday, NOS reports.
In the national budget, the official budget for the Royal House amounts to around 60 million. But according to the republicans, the actual cost to society is around 350 million euros per year due to numerous hidden costs.
The biggest hidden cost to society is created by the fact that the Oranjes hardly pay taxes, the researchers say. Head researcher Rene Zwaap estimates the Oranjes' wealth at around 12 billion euros. This means that the tax authorities miss out on 192 million euros per year, according to Zwaap.
Other costs not included in the Royals' official budget include around 10 million euros per year for the maintenance of their palaces and the rent thereof. An estimated 40 million euros per year for security for King Willem-Alexander, Queen Maxima and Princess Beatrix. The costs municipalities make when the royals visit for King's Day, at 4.6 million euros, or working visits at 22.5 million euros. And many embassies abroad have a space exclusively meant to accommodate members of the Royal family if they come visit. These cost money, but are almost always empty, according to the researches.
According to the Republikeins Genootschap, the Netherlands' Royals are one of the richest royal houses in Europe, and also one of the most expensive. Great Britain spends 100 million euros more on their royal family, but the costs are divided among a much larger population.
A spokesperson for the Royal House told NOS that the calculations about the estimated wealth in the report is "guesswork". He also emphasized that it is factually incorrect that the King does not pay taxes on his assets. The King has an exemption on part of his assets that are useful for the performance of his duties. "Based on this alone, the calculations of the Republikeins Genootschap can not be correct", the spokesperson said.
In the report, Zwaap himself admits that he came up with a total picture using "creative calculation" based on estimates and assumptions. "If these assumptions are based on the wrong premises, then we would love to hear from the Oranje House", he said in the report. According to Zwaap, his research team received dozens of tips from officials through specially created whistleblower site Wilileaks.
The costs of the Royal House, according to the Republikeins Genootschap:
- Income Willem-Alexander, Maxima Beatrix - €8.2 million
- Functional expenses, like personnel costs - €28.3 million
- Chargeable costs for other departments - €5.8 million
- State visits, palaces, Groene Draeck - €17.1 million
- Security - €40 million
- King's Day - €4.6 million
- Work visits - €22.5 million
- Housing at embassies - €10 million
- Official support - €5 million
- Various researches - €1 million
- Lost income from wealth tax - €192
- Housing costs palaces - €10 million
- Lost income in art trade - €1.4 million
- Total - €345.9 million