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Report: Queen Elizabeth's fiscal reserve has dwindled

Jan. 28, 2014 at 2:16 AM
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LONDON, Jan. 28 (UPI) -- Queen Elizabeth's staff has been spending too freely, frittering away the money need to keep her many palaces in shape, a British report said Monday.

The House of Commons public accounts committee reported the royal reserve is down to 1 million pounds ($1.66 million). In 2001, it was 35 million pounds, the Daily Telegraph reported.

Margaret Hodge, the Labor chairwoman of the committee, suggested the royal household get guidance from Treasury on managing its financial resources. She also said that historic buildings like Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace are in need of repair, while deteriorating equipment adds significantly to the cost of running them.

One report said staff have to use buckets to catch leaking water when it rains, a significant problem in buildings full of antique furniture and paintings.

"The household must get a much firmer grip on how it plans to address its maintenance backlog," Hodge said. "It has not even costed the repair works needed to bring the estate back to an acceptable condition. Again, the Treasury has an oversight role here."

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