Yes, we are indeed all in this together.
Well, sort of together, in a manner of speaking, you might say, more or less. The Daily Telegraph has two stories, however, that remind us that some of us aren’t even slightly in it together.
First of all Charles of Rothsay has increased his staff by ten, from 149 – 159 full time equivalent staff, and doubled his travel expenses despite travelling fewer miles in the last year. His staff, includes an amazing 26 personal staff, presumably to squeeze his toothpaste and wash his face for him.
His income from Cornwall (part of the Crown Estates not ceded to the country in exchange for the Civil List) rose by £635,000, which on its own might have been considered to be a rather good deal, but his grants from the government... that is to say us...rose by 40%... yes, you read that right, 40%. That’s an even better deal.
And no one seems to be able to stop this man and Mrs Parker Bowles, from spending like they were the ruling monarchs of a rich first world country.
As usual the royals have trotted out a flunky to explain why the figure for travel is so much more this year than last. It appears that last year the Canadian government covered the cost of his foreign visit to Canada, whereas, on top of all the grant money and Crown Estate money we dole out, we had to pay all his foreign travel this year.
Apparently the royal wedding (that the Windsors and Middletons were going to pay for out of their own pockets) amounted to a good deal of the expense (so clearly they didn’t, and it was you and me who actually paid for it). We’d can presumably anticipate another bill hike when Harry gets hitched and heaven only knows how much the ugly sisters will cost us.
The other story which caught my eye related to the ex Deputy Director General of the BBC who was made redundant last year, and who received a payoff of, wait for it, £950,000. Yep, nearly a million to pay him off. (And he wasn’t even any good. I remember reading that we had to pay the travel expenses of the DG and his family when they came back from their holiday to deal with some minor crisis, despite this man being left in charge.)
Other payoffs at the BBC included a woman, who had served less than two years as director of marketing, communications and audiences, at a cost of £390,000 . I thought you got a week’s pay for every year you had been in the job... well that’s what “other ranks” get. So that makes her weekly wage look pretty special!
Why can’t these people see just how annoying it is to find that your wage has been frozen; your pension reduced; your pension age increased; your winter fuel allowance cut; your roads unrepaired; etc, etc, ad infinitum, while those who can get away with it, rob us blind.
We’re not all in it together some of us are in clover, and I’ll give you three guesses where the rest are...