Queen’s royal gardener deserves a Living Wage – the monarchy can afford it

Republic says palaces should be run by government so workers have a better chance of decent pay


The royal family ‘exploits the goodwill’ of ‘hard working people’ in their palaces, said the campaign group Republic, on reports a new gardener for the Queen will not be paid a Living Wage.

The anti-monarchy group said the government should take control of running the palaces, so staff have a better chance of a decent salary.

Yesterday the Evening Standard reported a job advert on the royal household website offered £17,000 for a new gardener, or £8.72 for a 37.5 hour working week – £1.03 short of the £9.75 London Living Wage.

Some of this money will also be ‘docked’ for accomodation. The gardener’s rate is £1.52 more than the government’s ‘national living wage’, which has been criticised by Labour, trade unions and campaigners for not meeting the costing of living, and being wiped out for many by welfare cuts.

It comes as the monarchy is set to receive £369 million of taxpayers money to refurbish Buckingham Palace, and follows a cave in by the royals on wages after palace staff threatened their first ever strike in March 2015.

The Queen will also receive an extra £3 million next year, as her taxpayer-funded Sovereign Grant rises 6.5 per cent to £45.6 million in 2017/18.

A spokesperson for Republic, which campaigns for an elected head of state and holds the monarchy to account, speaking to Left Foot Forward, said:

“It is typical of the royals that they continue to demand more money for themselves, spending millions on refurbishing their homes, yet they exploit the goodwill of the ordinary hard working people that keep the palaces running.

It is a failure of leadership on the part of the Queen that despite receiving close to £334 million in public subsidy she continues to pay staff so badly.”

They added:

“It’s time the Queen handed over the running of the palaces to the government, so staff have the opportunity to call to account those who are paying them and have a greater chance of demanding a fair, Living Wage.”

Adam Barnett is staff writer for Left Foot Forward. Follow him on Twitter @AdamBarnett13 

See: Queen set for three million pay increase, as Republic says scrap the Sovereign Grant

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