A tiny, temporary committee of MPs set up explicitly to consider doubling the publicly funded income of the Royal Family took thirteen minutes to decide that, yes, the Royal Family should indeed have its income doubled.
The “Seventh Dedicated Legislation Committee” was only established to consider raising the so-called ‘Sovereign Grant’ from 15 per cent to 25 per cent of the Crown Estates income, in order to fund the estimated £360m upgrade to Buckingham Palace, and now it has done so, it will be disbanded.
Only the Scottish National Party, via its representatives Tommy Sheppard and George Kerevan objected to the decision.
Mr Sheppard said: “We cannot support this decision and this statutory instrument being passed in this way.
“It is not a suggestion that Buckingham Palace is not a public asset of historic importance that deserved to be preserved.
“What we object is using a change in the Sovereign Grant to pay for an infrastructure project. If a major investment of £400m needs to be made, then that should be treated as a separate capital project.
“It would be similar to saying the works that needed to be conduced at the Palace of Westminster should be funded by doubling the salary of MPs and asking them to make a contribution.”
The SNP’s objections are sufficient to mean that there will be a ‘deferred vote’ on the matter among MPs next week, but that vote will not come with any further debate or scrutiny of the matter, and it will almost certainly be approved.