The independent Labour Peer, Lord Stoddart of Swindon has been speaking up for the Royal Family after it has come under repeated attack from politicians and the national press. Lord Stoddart said: "I was surprised to read one national newspaper's Royal correspondent describing the Royal Family as the 'most expensive in Europe' based on research that took no account of differences in the size of the population of the countries it analysed. I have also been disturbed to see some politicians, who should know better, jumping on the same bandwagon.
" I would point out to these would be critics that when you consider the per capita cost of the Royal families of other European countries we get an extremely good deal from our Royal Family. The figures work out like this: Belgium £2.10, Netherlands £2, Denmark £1.80, Norway £1 and Sweden £1. When you compare these figures with the per capita cost of the Royal Family in the United Kingdom at 0.68 pence, I would argue that ours is the cheapest by a distance. The UK's considerably larger population would also suggest that it requires a busier Royal Family as well. Considering the very great number of public duties carried out by our Royal Family and their duties in respect of the Commonwealth, I think we get an extremely good deal at £41.5 million per annum.
"If the Royal Family's rather ill-informed critics really do want to turn their fire on a most disgraceful and unnecessary burden on the taxpayer, they should look at the cost of the UK's membership of the European Union, which costs us an incredible £7 million every four hours or £42 million per day. In a single day, EU membership costs more than the Royal Family costs us for an entire year! (Pink Book of Govt Statistics). The Royal Family offers real, tangible benefits to our country and is respected the world over. I can't say the same for Brussels."