At a time when Britain is still struggling to beat the effects of the recession, this news is sure to raise eyebrows. According to a so-far unpublicized report by PricewaterhouseCoopers commissioned by the Duke of York to study his cost-effectiveness as a trade envoy, some £3,861,904 was spent in funding the Duke’s work as a special representative for trade and investment over the last ten years. However, this staggering sum does not take into account the expenditure on bodyguards provided by the Metropolitan Police.
According to the official figures, the Duke made 76 international trips as a trade envoy between his taking on the position in 2001 and March 2010. Each of these trips racked up an average cost of £50,814. A case in point is the Duke’s two-day trip to New York in June 2009 when his flight and hotel bills shot up to some £32,853 – a staggering sum by even royal standards. According to reports, the Duke stayed at one of New York’s most luxurious properties, the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. As if that was not enough, he took his return flight home five days after his official engagements were completed.
All this funding comes from the British taxpayers, not from the royal coffers. UK Trade and Investment pays for the hotels, while the Department of Transport picks up the hotel bills out of a designated royal travel fund. Liberal Democrat Lord Oakshot said that the PwC report should be made public to reassure taxpayers that the Duke’s trips have been cost-effective. If publicized, the report could increase demands for the Duke to step down from his post.
Via: The Telegraph