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The Queen Takes a Pay Cut

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Despite OWS' claims to the contrary, the global recession has affected at least one prominent member of the 1%. This morning, the Daily Mail reported that the Queen now faces a pay freeze until 2015.

The Queen’s income has already gone down in real terms over the past two years, and recent austerity measures mean the monarch won’t see relief for several more. The pay cut will require many sacrifices, including a delay on repairs to Buckingham Palace. Worse yet, Prince Charles will now have to pay Prince William and Kate Middleton’s household staff.

Of course, the numbers make it difficult to get too worked up for the old monarch. Chancellor George Osborne’s austerity bill still leaves her with an annual salary of 30 million pounds, paid by British taxpayers. She will also receive a million pound payment to fund the diamond jubilee celebration of her 60th year as Queen.  

That said, Elizabeth II has seen a huge decline in taxpayer funding since the early nineties. In 1992, she received nearly 80 million pounds. The monarchy plans to balance out the lost income with profits from the Crown Estate. The Crown Estate controls Regent Street, Windsor Great Park and more than 50% of the English coastline.

Yeah, she’ll probably be fine.

The rest of Britain isn’t faring quite as well. Last Tuesday, Chancellor Osborne announced that public employees’ wages would be frozen for an additional two years -- they were already frozen for the next two -- along with a delay in the British government’s deficit reduction timetable.
His announcement sparked, last Friday, the biggest single day strike in Britain since the 1970s. The strike closed 62% of public schools, and shut down public transportation in many parts of the country.

According to the New York Times, protestor’s ridiculed the Chancellor’s Eton background and privileged upbringing as they marched through London. One protestor held up a sign that said, “my pension is being Eton.”

No one, however, mentioned the Queen.
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