Emergency Budget: Civil list to face public audit

By Tobias Benedetto

Plans for the National Audit Office (NAO) to be made responsible for auditing the civil list accounts from 2012 were included in the Budget announcement.

This will allow greater public scrutiny of the details of royal household expenditure, and align the household’s business accounts to the same standard as government departments.

Plans to freeze payments to the civil list for 2011 at £7.9 million were also announced, meaning the payments remain at the level set in 1990. As such their real value is down 76%.

Spending on the royal household will fall from £15.1 million to £14.9 million with the £7 million difference financed from the civil list reserve.

The government was keen to insist that transparency and efficiency initiatives operating in the royal finances would also be consolidated.

Mr Osborne used the details of the civil list, together with further taxes on higher earners, to progress his argument that “we are all in this together” during today’s emergency Budget.