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Archive for the tag “prince charles”

Planning Officer Charlie Again!

Prince Charles has been trying to impose his architectural preferences again as a report in The Guardian today shows. He tried to get an architect sacked and one of his own choices put in to replace him. This is by no means the first time this has become known (see) and one wonders how many times he has used his influence.

Let’s keep it simple. Charlie may be right or Charlie may be wrong in his views. Charlie is unelected and unqualified. Charlie only has power and enormous influence because he was born into a particular family.

If we truly value and want a genuine democracy then that power, that influence must be removed and the only way to do that is to remove that family from it’s position.

Your Money!

I’ve had time to get some detail from the Royal accounts that I pointed out were released yesterday. Here are a few examples of how your money is wasted away by these scroungers.

Queen charges £14,515 to get train from Euston to Liverpool.

Queen and Phillip charged us £22,275 to go to Great Yorkshire Show

Charles and Camilla’s trip to Japan, Bruinei and Indonesia cost a staggering £655,675!

Duke and Duchess of Gloucester charge taxpayer £149,000 for trip to Australia

Andrew charges taxpayer £55,000 to fly to Sharm el Sheikh

Queen charges taxpayer £16,000 to take train from Windsor to Totnes

It’s about time that this madness was ended. More details and how you can help can be found at Republic.

Dear Prince Charles Supporter

Yes, that’s you, like it or not you contribute to Prince Charles ever growing fortune.

His accounts, see BBC, were published today (not checked by the Audit Office of course) and show that his personal income increased to £16.4m while his tax bill decreased by 10%! Most of this income comes from the Dutchy of Cornwall which is not the private property of Charles, yet he takes all the profit. What the BBC site does not highlight is that earlier this year Charles was given a tax break worth £700,000 and the Dutchy receives ‘Grants-in-Aid’ of over £2m.

Happy to support the Royal spongers? Think of them the next time that you look at your tax deductions. The MP’s who had their snouts in the trough are mere piglets compared to the Royal Family.

Oh by the way; it seems that 2 butlers, 5 chefs, a personal dresser and 2 valets are tax deductable!

Royal Secrets

Brown had promised us more openness and transparency in the wake of the expenses scandals. What does he do? He caves in to pressure from the Palace and is bringing in a blanket ban on the Freedom of Information Act applying to the unelected Royals stating that secrecy is required to ensure the impartiality of the head of state. What?!!

Statement from the Ministry of Justice:

To ensure the constitutional position and political impartiality of the Monarchy is not undermined, the relevant exemption in the Freedom of Information Act will be made absolute for information relating to communications with the Royal Household that is less than 20 years’ old. After that point – if the relevant Member of the Royal Family is still alive – then the exemption will continue to apply until five years after their death – on an absolute basis for the Sovereign and the Heir to the Throne, and on a qualified basis for other members of the Royal Family.

This is utterly outrageous; if they demand secrecy then they must have something to hide or rather, a lot of ‘somethings’. We are footing the bill so why shouldn’t we have a right to know or at least find out what they are spending our money on? If they are using their undemocratic powers to influence political decisions, or promoting their businesses or using government planes for their private pleasure at our expense we have a right to know.

It is even likely that this FOI ban will become law not by being debated in Parliament but brought into being by powers given to the Prime Minister by the very people who demand this outrage.

If you still have any doubts about whether we should know then how about this from The Guardian in June last year.

“Prince Charles used the royal train to travel from Kemble, near his Gloucestershire home, to Penrith, Cumbria, to visit a pub – part of the “pub is the hub” initiative to revitalise village life – at a cost of £18,916, which may make it the most expensive pub visit ever made. The prince also used the train to get to Edinburgh (£21,460) and during a trip for various engagements in Wales (£43,258).”

What a great example to us all!

Off he goes again this time with Camilla to Italy, speaking on climate change and about the “slow food” movement of local sourcing and organic production. Charlie, who knows far more more than scientists and climatologists, informed the Italian parliament that the world has ‘just 99 months’ to halt global warming or it will be too late.

Ack. The Sun

Ack. The Sun

He is a fine example to us all, we should all do what we can to reduce emissions and buy local food where possible.

Except that he hired a private jet to get there rather than at least take a scheduled flight, or travel by rail. The private jet was presumably at our expence.

King Charles 3rd or Democracy

It never ceases to amaze me that whenever the topic of finally becoming a democracy and electing our own head of state comes up, numbers of people say “What! Imagine Tony Blair or Gordon Brown as President.”

Try to get your head around it people; We would get who the majority voted for, nothing more, nothing less and it’s called Democracy. In addition if it turned out that we didn’t like our choice then in four or five years we can vote for someone else. With a king or queen we have no choice and are stuck with them ’til they die and then we have someone else from the same family appointed to take their place. That is NOT Democracy!

The Caring Prince

We all know how caring is Prince Charles or at least so we are regularly told by his PR Team. He cares about the environment and about sustainable living and he is passionate about alternative  health care isn’t he? He even set up The Prince’s Foundation for Integrated Health Care.

The ‘charity’   submitted it’s report to the Charity Commission recently and this shows that investments were made to among others :-

  • £112,000 in Artemis UK Special Situations, which includes investments in BP, Shell, GlaxoSmithKline and BAE systems
  • £92,000 in Investec Global Energy, 26% of which is invested in ‘Oil and Gas Exploration’
  • £65,000 in Jupiter Emerging European Opportunities Fund, whose top ten holdings include LUKOIL (Russia’s largest oil company) and Gazprom (the world’s largest gas company)

Need I say more? I don’t think so.

A Right Royal Business

I copy below the details of a Downing Street Petition to which I was a signatory and the Government’s response.

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to remove the privileges which give the duchies of Cornwall and Lancaster an unfair advantage so that they have to operate according to the laws and taxation applied to all other businesses.”

Details of Petition:

“The duchies of Cornwall and Lancaster are exempt from corporation, capital gains and inheritance tax. They are also exempt from civil law so tenants have no recourse. This means that these duchies are able to operate on the same playing field as other businesses but they have a huge advantage, the time has come for them to tow the line.”

Read the Government’s response

Tax Position

The Duchy of Lancaster and the Duchy of Cornwall are private landed estates, whose annual surpluses provide an income for Her Majesty the Queen and the Prince of Wales respectively. The Queen and Prince of Wales do not have access to the capital or capital profits.

The Duchies’ main purpose, established in law, is to generate an income for their beneficiaries, across successive generations. Following the 1993 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Royal Taxation, the Queen and Prince of Wales made a voluntary arrangement to pay income and capital gains tax at the same rates as any other citizen. The Duchies do not pay corporation tax because they are not companies and are therefore not within the charge of Corporation Tax. Their income is effectively taxed in the hands of their beneficiaries.  Since neither beneficiary is entitled to the assets nor any capital gains or losses made by the Duchy of Lancaster or Duchy of Cornwall, no CGT is payable. Any part of the Sovereign’s estate, which passes to her successor will not be subject to inheritance tax (IHT) because the 1993 MOU was founded on the principle that the Sovereign as head of state should have a degree of financial independence from the Government of the day.  However, any other bequests by the Sovereign would bear IHT in the normal way. The Duchies bear other taxes in the usual way, eg Stamp Duty Land Tax, VAT, council tax etc.

Civil Law

The Duchies, like the Executive arm of the Government, are part of the Crown and have a similar status in law.  This means that in practice, on a case by case basis, the Duchies are subject to many aspects of civil law.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all have a multi million pound business set up for us to live off the profits and to pay tax on a ‘voluntary basis’. The underlined phrase (by me) makes one wonder why it is then that we the tax payers, cough up at least £150 million a year to support this family?

A Right Royal Con?

Prince Charles is well known for his beliefs in alternative medicine and therapies and to give him his due, in some areas and for some products, he has a point. What I didn’t know until recently though is that he has a company called ‘Duchy Originals’ that produces and sells herbal remedies and so on. Yes, more income for the already incredibly wealthy unelected heir to to the throne.

Blow and watch your Pounds fly away

Blow and watch your Pounds fly away

Duchy Originals have just launched their latest item, detox tincture, at just £10 for 50ml which by my guesswork is around £1 per teaspoon full. The web site states that it contains Artichoke and dandelion and is “A food supplement to help eliminate toxins and aid digestion.”

Well, there’s me thinking that 100’s of thousands of years of evolution made our bodies quite capable of eliminating toxins particularly with the help of sufficient water. Charlie provides no evidence whatsoever that drops of artichoke and dandelion will detox your system, whatever that means. So I’m left to assume that this is just another of his money making schemes. The trouble is of course that with his high profile and royal connections an awful lot of people out there will fall for it and pass over their hard earned cash.

I shall be getting on to the Office of Fair Trading and although I doubt they’ll actually do anything I’ll let you know if they do.

A Conservative King

The Princes Trust set up by Prince Charles presumably to raise his profile and give him something to do whilst waiting for his mother to slip off the throne and drift peacefully away into a gold plated heaven has also been fund raising for the Tory’s.

imagesYes, according to an investigation by The Mail on Sunday, The Trust arranged a joint fund raising event in the House of Commons no less, the other beneficiary being ‘Women2Win’ which aims to increase the number of Tory women MP’s at the next election. Twenty guests were apparently willing to cough up £1675 each to meet Margaret Thatcher. Now if freethinkeruk had that kind of spare cash he might be tempted to go along, provided he could throw green custard at the old witch but not just to meet her. Anyway, back to the plot. For a charity to make political donations is illegal, so now that Charlie’s trust has been found out the money will have to be repaid but that still leaves the question of a king wannabe who is supposed to be apolitical, funding one party. In addition it is against the rules of Parliament to hold party fundraising in the Palace of Westminster. Still, if you are a monarch in waiting you probably think you’re above such silly rules and laws.

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