Contemporary Comparisons

Great Britain

  • Taxpayer money: The Royal Family received £37.4m from the public purse last year – an increase of 4.2 per cent from the previous year.
  • Queen’s private wealth: Estimated to be £2bn. The Queen receives £11.2m from the civil list for public duties as head of state and for staff costs.


  • Royal Train: Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh Perth to Windsor on 6-7 July last year after hosting G8 dinner. Cost: £28,913. Euston to Perth 22-24 June Euston to Perth return. Cost: £31,927.
  • Charter flights – Charter flight to Australia and Singapore 10-18 March. Cost: £478,627. Queen paid £199,588.
  • The Queen used the royal helicopter and flight BAe 146 to travel every day to Royal Ascot last June when it moved to York temporarily. Cost: £11,950.
  • A total of £5.5m was spent by the Royal Family on travel – an increase of 10 per cent – that is met by the taxpayer as grant in aid. The cost of royal flights also increased by £600,000, to a total bill of £4.6m. The Royal Family has a fleet of private jets at their disposal operated by RAF 32 Squadron comprising two 26-seat BAe 146 planes and five seven-seat HS 125s. They are also used by Tony Blair and members of the Cabinet.
  • The mileage cost was £13 for air travel and £41 for rail travel. The Royal Train cost £600,000 last year and was used on 14 occasions – five fewer than the year before. That means the average cost of each train journey was £43,000.


  • The Queen employs a total of 310 staff at the palaces. Total payroll cost: £8.2m a year paid for by the taxpayer on the civil list.
  • The number of staff has gone up slightly from 307 in 2004. The household staff total 176. Three extra staff had to be hired to handle freedom of information inquiries, even though the palace is exempt from the law.
  • There are 15 craftsmen carrying out repairs to the historic buildings who cost about £500,000 a year.
  • Palace gardeners cost £400,000 a year.
  • About £300,000 was paid in overtime
  • Perks include some live-in accommodation, attractive surroundings to work in, and Palace officials said the royal swimming pool at Buckingham Palace may be made available to them. Staff may also use the police gym at Buckingham Palace.
  • Alan Reid, 58, the Keeper of the Privy Purse, is the highest paid member of the Queen’s staff with a salary of £182,000 a year – an increase of £10,000 a year on 2004. He also has an amount equal to 17.5 per cent of his salary paid into his private pension scheme.
  • Sir Robin Janvin, 59, the Queen’s Private Secretary, receives £167,000 a year – an increase from £156,000 a year and an annual pension of £39,000 with a lump sum pension worth £118,000.
  • Garden Parties: The cost of the garden parties is borne by the taxpayer on the Civil List. They cost £600,000 last year compared with £500,000 the year before. Food and kitchens costs were £400,000 but the total cost of catering and hospitality for the royal palaces was £1.4m including state banquets and the Queen has wine – in cellars to age – worth more than £400,000.

Res repair and restoration

  • Buildings and Palaces: Six royal palaces and other buildings and gardens such as the Royal Mews and the Great Parks at Windsor cost £15.7m to keep up – an increase of £700,000 on the previous year. This was partly offset by revenue from entrance charges on open days totalling £1.4m – a rise of £300,000.
  • The taxpayer pays £15m a year towards the upkeep of the palaces as historic buildings. Palace officials revealed they are seeking a £1m a year increase, plus inflation, in the grant supplied by Tessa Jowell, the Culture Secretary, because many of the buildings are in urgent need of repairs.



  • Presidential salary: Salary of the French President is 19,000 euros per month.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/President_of_France#Pay_and_official_residences

  • Residential operating expenses: Élysée Palace is the French President’s residence. Jacques Chirac increased the Palace’s budget by 105% to 90 million euros per year, according to the book L’argent caché de l’Élysée. One million euros per year is spent on drinks alone for the guests invited to the Élysée Palace. 6.9 million euros per year on bonuses for presidential staff, 6.1 million euros per year on the 145 extra employees Chirac hired after he was elected in 1995, and 81,012 euros per year as a salary for the President. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%89lys%C3%A9e_Palace
  • There was controversy about the budget being taken advantage of in France and then it was audited. Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jul/16/sarkozy-pays-back-expenses-elysee


  • Prime Minister salary: $301,600
  • Two official residences are provided to the Prime Minister – 24 Sussex Drive in Ottawa and Harrington Lake, a country retreat in Gatineau Park – as well an office in the Langevin Block, across from Parliament Hill.
  • For transportation, the Prime Minister is granted an armored, long-wheelbase Cadillac STS, and shared use of two official aircraft – a CC-150 Polaris for international flights and a Challenger 601 for domestic trips.
  • The Royal Canadian Mounted Police also furnish constant personal security for the Prime Minister and his or her family. All of the aforementioned is supplied by the Queen-in-Council through budgets approved by parliament, as is the Prime Minister’s annual salary of CAD$301,600. Only about half of this income is specific to the role of Prime Minister, the remainder being the normal salary of a Member of Parliament.
  • The Prime Minister does not have a combined office/residence. Instead he lives at 24 Sussex Drive. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/24_Sussex_Drive

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prime_Minister_of_Canada


  • Presidential salary: President Calderón announced, on his first day as president, a presidential decree limiting the president’s salary and that of cabinet ministers. The measure only affects a few high-ranking officials, but excludes most of the bureaucracy and public servants in the legislative or judicial branches. According to a Freedom of Information Act request filed by Reforma, the decree will affect 546 high-level government officials and save the government about US$13 million.
  • There is little information about Mexican Presidential spending, it appears obvious that there were over compensation issues leading to this pay limitation. This could be another case study of how a government spending problem was addressed.


  • Residential operating expenses and maintenance: According to figures revealed in the House in 2005, the building of Seri Perdana cost RM24.17 million, with maintenance costing up to RM2.9 million a year. An additional RM15.81 million was spent for renovations that year as well.
  • It has also been alleged previously that the building actually cost about RM200 million to build.
  • In 2006, an opposition MP revealed that a whopping RM20 million was allegedly spent for the security system in the premier’s official residence.


  • Prime Minister salary: $514,000. Source: http://www.japanprobe.com/2008/05/06/japanese-salary-data/
  • Kantei cost $350 mill to build. The cost of this building, the Prime Minister’s executive office, is not directly relevant to executive operating expenses. However, building costs give us a starting point in knowing how large these offices are in comparison to each other. Source: http://www.economicexpert.com/a/Kantei.htm



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