Friday, 3 Apr 2020

End of Commonwealth? Aussies join Canadians in refusing to pay security costs of royals

Aussie taxpayers have regularly helped cover part of the costs of royal tours, which can run into millions of pounds. According to a spokesman for the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Meghan and Harry’s last tour to Australia cost around £200,000, while that of William and Kate in 2014 racked up an even higher bill. However, public attitudes towards royal visits appear to be changing for the worst, according to a poll carried out by the website honey.nine.

Two-thirds of the 1,168 respondents said that the Australian taxpayer should not have to foot the bill of these royal trips, which is likely to alarm supporters of the monarchy.

Less than one third agreed that it was appropriate for the taxpayer to cover the royal costs.

The poll comes as William and Kate are expected to travel Down Under to visit communities affected by the devastating bushfires that ravaged the country in December and January.

One respondent replied that it was “obscene” to expect Australians to pay for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s proposed visit.

Another argued that the royal family had plenty of money and could pay for its own visits.

Many thought that the Government would be better off using taxpayers’ money to help rebuild communities left devastated by the bushfires.

One person suggested:”Preferably they would instead donate the money for regeneration and conservation for affected native wildlife and habitats.”

However, some argued that William and Kate’s visit would be beneficial to communities struggling to get back on their feet.

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One commented: “Prince William and Kate would probably bring an influx of people into the bushfire regions, thereby creating and active economy for the people affected by the fires.”

While another said: “Fantastic that the royals will make the effort to visit those affected by the fires.

“It will be a great boost to their morale and well being after what they have been through.”

This comes as public anger is growing in Canada over who should foot the security costs of Meghan and Canada.

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A petition demanding that the Canadian Government does not pay a “penny’ of the costs gathered over 100,000 signatures within days.

The petition was organised by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, whose director Aaron Wudrick revealed to, why ordinary Canadians felt so strongly about the issue.

“We recognise that when there are royal visits, there’s a cost and as long as they are reasonable, we don’t really object.

“The difference in this case was that there was a view that the Duke and Duchess coming here, they were just sort of shirking their responsibilities, they wanted to escape from their life in the UK.

“And there was a real sense here that they expected Canadians to pay for them.

“And that was the reason we launched the campaign and the response was quite overwhelming and instant.”

He added: “Effectively Harry and Meghan are not seen as royals coming here.

“They are seen as wealthy celebrities and so just as if a Hollywood star were to move here, they would be expected to pay all their own costs.

“The average person has a very difficult time understanding – I am a regular person trying to pay my bills, my taxes. These very wealthy people come here, why am I responsible for them?”

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