Civil list

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A civil list is a list of individuals to whom money is paid by the government. It is a term especially associated with the United Kingdom and its former colonies of Canada and New Zealand. It was originally defined as expenses supporting the monarch. Morocco has a civil list defined in its constitution of 1996.

Money Object or record accepted as payment

Money is any item or verifiable record that is generally accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment of debts, such as taxes, in a particular country or socio-economic context. The main functions of money are distinguished as: a medium of exchange, a unit of account, a store of value and sometimes, a standard of deferred payment. Any item or verifiable record that fulfils these functions can be considered as money.

A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, often a state.

United Kingdom Country in Europe

The United Kingdom, officially the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland but more commonly known as the UK or Britain, is a sovereign country lying off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state‍—‌the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi), the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world. It is also the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.

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United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, the Civil List was, until 2011, the annual grant that covered some expenses associated with the Sovereign performing their official duties, including those for staff salaries, State Visits, public engagements, ceremonial functions and the upkeep of the Royal Households. The cost of transport and security for the Royal Family, together with property maintenance and other sundry expenses, were covered by separate grants from individual Government Departments. The Civil List was abolished under the Sovereign Grant Act 2011.

The Royal Households of the United Kingdom are the collective departments which support members of the British royal family. Many members of the Royal Family who undertake public duties have separate households. They vary considerably in size, from the large Royal Household which supports the Sovereign to the household of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, with fewer than ten members. The lesser households are funded from the Civil List annuities, paid to their respective royal employers for their public duties, and all reimbursed to HM Treasury by the Queen.

Sovereign Grant Act 2011 Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom

The Sovereign Grant Act 2011 is the Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom which introduced the Sovereign Grant, the payment which is paid annually to the monarch by the government in order to fund the Monarch's official duties. It was the biggest reform to the finances of the British Royal Family since the inception of the Civil List in 1760.

History

Following the "Glorious Revolution" of 1688, the expenses relating to the support of the monarch were largely separated from the ordinary expenses of the State managed by the Exchequer. This was a reaction to the reigns of Charles II of England and James II of England (also known as James VII of Scotland), whose large revenues had made them independent of Parliament.[ citation needed ]

Glorious Revolution 17th Century British revolution

The Glorious Revolution, also called the Revolution of 1688, was the overthrow of King James II of England by a union of English Parliamentarians with the Dutch stadtholder William III, Prince of Orange, who was James's nephew and son-in-law. William's successful invasion of England with a Dutch fleet and army led to his ascension to the throne as William III of England jointly with his wife, Mary II, James's daughter, after the Declaration of Right, leading to the Bill of Rights 1689.

Exchequer

In the civil service of the United Kingdom, Her Majesty’s Exchequer, or just the Exchequer, is the accounting process of central government and the government's current account i.e. money held from taxation and other government revenues in the Consolidated Fund. It can be found used in various financial documents including the latest departmental and agency annual accounts.

Charles II of England King of England, Ireland and Scotland

Charles II was king of England, Scotland and Ireland. He was king of Scotland from 1649 until his deposition in 1651, and king of England, Scotland and Ireland from the restoration of the monarchy in 1660 until his death.

In 1697, Parliament under William III and Mary II fixed The Crown's peacetime revenue at £1,200,000 per year; of this about £700,000 was appropriated towards the Civil List. [1] [2] The Sovereigns were expected to use this to defray some of the costs of running the civil government (such as the Civil Service, judges' and ambassadors' salaries) and the payment of pensions, as well as the expenses of the Royal Household and the Sovereign's personal expenses. It was from this that the term "Civil List" arose, to distinguish it from the statement of military and naval expenses which were funded through special taxation.

The Civil List Act 1697 is an Act of the Parliament of England. This was the first Act of Parliament to set the Civil List, although the custom had begun in 1689. The annual amount assigned to King William III and his household was £700,000, an amount that did not change until the beginning of the reign of George III in 1760.

William III of England 17th-century Stadtholder, Prince of Orange and King of England, Scotland and Ireland

William III, also widely known as William of Orange, was sovereign Prince of Orange from birth, Stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Gelderland and Overijssel in the Dutch Republic from 1672 and King of England, Ireland and Scotland from 1689 until his death in 1702. As King of Scotland, he is known as William II. He is sometimes informally known in Northern Ireland and Scotland as "King Billy".

Mary II of England joint Sovereign of England, Scotland, and Ireland

Mary II was Queen of England, Scotland, and Ireland, co-reigning with her husband and first cousin, King William III and II, from 1689 until her death; popular histories usually refer to their joint reign as that of William and Mary. William and Mary, both Protestants, became king and queen regnant following the Glorious Revolution, which resulted in the adoption of the English Bill of Rights and the deposition of her Roman Catholic father, James II and VII. William became sole ruler upon her death in 1694. He reigned as such until his own death in 1702, when he was succeeded by Mary's sister Anne.

The accession of George III in 1760 marked a significant change in royal finances. As his predecessor, George II, had failed to meet all of the specific costs of the civil government in accordance with the previous arrangement, it was decided by the Civil List Act 1760 that George III would surrender the hereditary revenues from the Crown Estate to Parliament for the duration of his reign, and in return Parliament would assume responsibility for most of the costs of the civil government. Parliament would continue to pay the Civil List, which would defray the expenses of the Royal Household and some of the costs of the civil government. George III, however, retained the income from the Duchy of Lancaster.

The Civil List Act 1760 was an Act of the Parliament of Great Britain passed upon the accession of George III.

Crown Estate statutory corporation; property portfolio owned by the Crown

The Crown Estate is a collection of lands and holdings in the United Kingdom belonging to the British monarch as a corporation sole, making it the "Sovereign's public estate", which is neither government property nor part of the monarch's private estate. As a result of this arrangement, the sovereign is not involved with the management or administration of the estate, and exercises only very limited control of its affairs. Instead, the estate's extensive portfolio is overseen by a semi-independent, incorporated public body headed by the Crown Estate Commissioners, who exercise "the powers of ownership" of the estate, although they are not "owners in their own right". The revenues from these hereditary possessions have been placed by the monarch at the disposition of Her Majesty's Government in exchange for relief from the responsibility to fund the Civil Government. These revenues thus proceed directly to Her Majesty's Treasury, for the benefit of the British nation. The Crown Estate is formally accountable to the Parliament of the United Kingdom, where it is legally mandated to make an annual report to the sovereign, a copy of which is forwarded to the House of Commons.

Duchy of Lancaster royal duchy in England

The Duchy of Lancaster is, since 1399, the private estate of the British sovereign as Duke of Lancaster. The principal purpose of the estate is to provide a source of independent income to the Sovereign. The estate consists of a portfolio of lands, properties and assets held in trust for the Sovereign and is administered separately from the Crown Estate. The duchy consists of 18,433 ha of land holdings, urban developments, historic buildings and some commercial properties across England and Wales, particularly in Cheshire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire, Yorkshire, Lancashire and the Savoy Estate in London. The Duchy of Lancaster is one of two royal duchies: the other is the Duchy of Cornwall, which provides income to the Prince of Wales.

On the accession of William IV in 1830, the sum voted for the Civil List was restricted to the expenses of the Royal Household, removing any residual responsibilities associated with the cost of the civil government. This finally removed any links between the Sovereign and the cost of the civil government. On the accession of Queen Victoria, the Civil List Act 1837—which reiterated the principles of the civil list system and specified all prior Acts as in force—was passed. Upon the accession of subsequent monarchs down to Queen Elizabeth II, this constitutional arrangement was confirmed, but the historical term "Civil List" remained even though the grant had nothing to do with the expenses of the civil government.

William IV of the United Kingdom King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and of Hanover 1830-1837

William IV was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and King of Hanover from 26 June 1830 until his death in 1837. The third son of George III, William succeeded his elder brother George IV, becoming the last king and penultimate monarch of Britain's House of Hanover.

Queen Victoria British monarch who reigned 1837–1901

Victoria was Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death. On 1 May 1876, she adopted the additional title of Empress of India.

The Civil List Act 1837 was an Act of Parliament in the United Kingdom, signed into law on 23 December 1837.

In 1931 George V decided to eschew the £50,000 due to him from the Civil List as a result of the Great Depression. As Keeper of the Privy Purse, Sir Frederick Ponsonby wrote to Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald to say that George had felt it was possible to reject the grant by "exercise of the most rigid economy" and that Queen Mary and other royal family members were "desirous that reductions in these grants should be made during this time of national crisis". [3]

Elizabeth II

The last British monarch to receive Civil List payments was Elizabeth II. The Civil List for her reign lasted from her accession in 1952 until its abolition in 2012. During this period the Queen, as head of state, used the Civil List to defray some of the official expenditure of the monarchy.

Only the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Queen Mother ever received direct funding from the Civil List. [4] The Prince of Wales and his immediate family (the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince Harry) received their income from the Duchy of Cornwall. The state duties and staff of other members of the Royal Family were funded from a parliamentary annuity, the amount of which was fully refunded by the Queen to the treasury. [5] The Queen's consort (Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh) received £359,000 per year. [6] The Queen was permitted to claim these amounts as a deduction against her gross income from personal investments and other sources—the net amount, after deductions, was subject to normal income tax.

The last two decades of the Civil List were marked by surpluses and deficits. Surpluses in the 1991–2000 Civil List caused by low inflation and the efforts of the Queen and her staff to make the Royal Household more efficient led to the accrual of a £35.3 million reserve by late 2000. Consequently, the Civil List was fixed at £7.9 million annually in 2001, the same amount as in 1991, and remained at that level until its abolition. The reserve was then used to make up the shortfall in the Civil List during the subsequent decade. [7] The Civil List Act 1972 forbade parliament from reducing any of these payments. [8]

The abolition of the Civil List was announced in the spending review statement to the House of Commons on 20 October 2010 by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne. In its place, he said, "the Royal Household will receive a new Sovereign Support Grant linked to a portion of the revenue of the Crown Estate". The Crown Estate is a statutory corporation, run on commercial lines by the Crown Estate Commissioners and generates revenue for HM Treasury every year (an income surplus of £210.7 million for the year ended 31 March 2010). [9] This income is received by the Crown and given to the state as a result of the agreement reached in 1760 that has been renewed at the beginning of each subsequent reign. The Sovereign Grant Act 2011 received Royal Assent on 18 October 2011. Under this Act, the Sovereign Grant now funds all of the official expenditure of the monarchy, not just the expenditure previously borne by the Civil List.

Civil List pensions

These are pensions traditionally granted by the Sovereign from the Civil List upon the recommendation of the First Lord of the Treasury. The Civil List Act 1837 applied the condition that any new pensions should be "granted to such persons only as have just claims on the royal beneficence or who by their personal services to the Crown, or by the performance of duties to the public, or by their useful discoveries in science and attainments in literature and the arts, have merited the gracious consideration of their sovereign and the gratitude of their country." [10] Famous recipients include William Wordsworth, [11] William Barnes, [12] Geraldine Jewsbury, [13] Margaret Oliphant, [14] Christopher Logue, [15] and Molly Parkin. [16] (Lord Byron is often said to have received a civil list pension, but his mother was the actual recipient. [17] ) As of 1911, a sum of £1,200 was allotted each year from the Civil List, in addition to the pensions already in force. From a Return issued in 1908, the total of Civil List pensions payable in that year amounted to £24,665. In the financial year 2012-13 the annual cost of Civil List pensions paid to 53 people was £126,293. [18] New Civil List pensions continue to be awarded occasionally. [16]

In episode 3 of To Play the King , Prime Minister Francis Urquhart (played by Ian Richardson) tells his political foe, the king (played by Michael Kitchen), that the government will take another look at the Civil List before holding a general election. The king observes that a full audit had been conducted the previous year, and Urquhart's proposed review appears vindictive.

Canada

In Canada the civil list was a common term during the pre-confederation period; it referred to the payment for all officials on the government payroll. There was much controversy as to whether the list would be controlled by the Governor or by the Legislative Assembly. The Assembly demanded control of all money matters, while the Governors worried that if the Assembly was given this power, then certain positions would be delisted. Eventually under the Baldwin-Lafontaine government, a compromise was reached with Lord Elgin.

The term civil list is no longer commonly used to describe the payment of civil servants in Canada, who are covered in the budgets of executive agencies.

New Zealand

The Civil List Act 1979 describes the funds provided for the Governor-General, Prime Minister, Cabinet Ministers and Members of Parliament.

Morocco

Article 45 of the 2011 Amended Moroccan Constitution states that the King shall have a civil list. [19] A similar provision was contained in Article 22 of the 1996 Amended Moroccan Constitution. [20]

Singapore

The Civil List and Gratuity Act [21] provides a civil list and gratuity for the maintenance of the President of Singapore.

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References

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  2. "The Convention and Bill of Rights". UK Parliament. Retrieved 2 November 2014.
  3. "Silence of the readers", The Times , 22 August 1992; pg. 10.
  4. Verkaik, Robert (30 May 2002). "Royal aides want to see abolition of Civil List". The Independent. Retrieved 1 February 2014.
  5. "Sovereign Grant Act: main provisions". HM Treasury. Archived from the original on 3 January 2012. Retrieved 8 June 2012.
  6. "What Is The True Cost Of The Monarchy?". Royal Central. 17 February 2013. Retrieved 26 February 2014.
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  8. Alan Travis, home affairs editor. "Secret deals that obscure the royal finances | UK news". The Guardian. Retrieved 2015-09-07.
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  10. Civil List Act 1837 (c.2)
  11. Erickson, Lee (1996). The economy of literary form: English literature and the industrialization of publishing, 1800-1850. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 76. ISBN   0801851459. OCLC   32394070.
  12. Chris Wrigley, 'Barnes, William (1801–1886)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Jan 2006 accessed 7 Sept 2017
  13. Joanne Wilkes, 'Jewsbury, Geraldine Endsor (1812–1880)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 accessed 7 Sept 2017
  14. Elisabeth Jay, 'Oliphant, Margaret Oliphant Wilson (1828–1897)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 accessed 7 Sept 2017
  15. Jeremy Noel-Tod, 'Logue, (John) Christopher (1926–2011)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Jan 2015 accessed 7 Sept 2017
  16. 1 2 Richard Eden (20 May 2012). "Erotic painter Molly Parkin is shocked to receive rare honour from the Queen". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
  17. Jerome J. McGann, 'Byron, George Gordon Noel, sixth Baron Byron (1788–1824)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, May 2015 accessed 7 Sep 2017
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  19. "Constitution". Maroc.ma. Retrieved 2015-09-07.
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Further reading