Politicians of all parties are coming under pressure to reduce the Civil List in the light of the recession. The Civil List, which consists of public money awarded to the royal family each year, currently stands at around £7.9 million.
While the Treasury has refused to comment on reports that it is negotiating an increase to the List, the Conservative Party has surprised some by saying that the List would not necessarily be exempt from cuts under a Tory government.
“We've made an explicit commitment to maintain spending on health and to meet our international development obligations but we are not making a commitment to protect other areas - such as the Civil List - at this stage” said a spokesperson for the Shadow Chancellor George Osborne.
Nonetheless, the Tories are likely to face criticism for stopping short of saying that the List will be cut.
Meanwhile, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alastair Darling, refused to comment on reports that the List is likely to be increased, with a spokesperson saying only that “discussions are taking place in the light of current fiscal policy and an announcement will be made in due course.”
The campaign group Republic is calling on all parties to make clear that the Civil List would not be exempt from cuts.
“Royal costs must be slashed first, before a single hospital ward or school is closed” insisted Republic's director, Graham Smith.
"We believe it is completely unacceptable at this time of sweeping public spending cuts that the Windsor family can demand more cash from the government” he added.
Parliament will debate the Civil List in 2010, to determine its shape for the following decade.