'There he goes . . . '
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The Royal Family is to be exempt from any cuts in public spending next year when its civil list funding is settled for the next 10 years.
Although all of the major political parties are vying to demonstrate their willingness to wield the axe on public spending, MPs will be powerless to reduce the £7.9m a year paid under the civil list because of an obscure deal struck between Buckingham Palace and the Treasury in 1972 when the current legislation governing royal finances was drawn up.
Palace officials made clear earlier this summer that they are actually seeking a rise in the annual civil list payment to cover "increased costs" despite the fact that they currently have a £21m surplus in the reserves on the civil list account.