Cameron says he gave Queen ‘generous deal’ on income from Crown Estate – including Wales’ waters
David Cameron has said that he gave the Queen a “generous” deal when he created a grant that allocated revenues from the Crown Estate to the Monarchy every year – including from Wales’ sea bed.
The sovereign grant was created to rescue the Royal Family’s finances after they began “running out of money to fix things,” he said.
His comments in the new book Queen of Our Times: The Life of Elizabeth II, by Robert Hardman, come as calls have grown in Wales for the Crown Estate to be devolved, as it is in Scotland.
Last month a Senedd committee called for the revenues to be devolved and the income spent on tackling climate change. It is currently owned by the Queen, who gets 25% of the profits, with the rest going to the UK Treasury. Its marine portfolio in Wales is valued at £549.1 million.
“They [the monarchy] genuinely had a money problem in that what had been quite a generous settlement was now not generous. They were running out of money to fix things,” Cameron told Hardman.
“It was generous, but I don’t mind,” he said. “It was better to have something that was long-term sustainable. It would have been much worse if we’d erred on the other side, then had to do the whole thing again.”
The UK Government has so far resisted any attempt to devolve the Crown Estate to Wales, despite the Welsh Government saying they are open to the idea.
After being questioned on the subject in the House of Commons, the Welsh Secretary Simon Hart said: “The relationship that the Crown Estate enjoys with the UK Government, the Welsh Government and stakeholders works very well.
“I do not think there is any public interest or appetite for altering the terms of that arrangement.”
A petition has been set up calling for the devolution of the Crown Estate to Wales.
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