There is ‘no reason for an evaluation’, the outgoing prime minister wrote to the House of Representatives. Last year there was a lot of discussion about the income of the king. This was in response to the wage increase of more than 5 percent that Willem-Alexander was promised for this year.
In the debate about the financial management of the royal family and the taxpayer’s contribution to this, Rutte promised to investigate whether the A component should be evaluated. He did so reluctantly.
More than a year later, Rutte now announces that the evaluation will not take place, if it is up to this caretaker cabinet. His reason is, among other things, the lack of ‘broad agreement on objective standards with regard to this component’. In other words, “You’ll never agree on the height,” he put it last year.
The head of state also receives an annual compensation of approximately 5 million euros for personnel and material costs, the so-called B component of the income. Rutte writes to the House of Representatives about roughly what the money will be spent on, but the exact expenditure remains a secret.
According to the constitution, the king can decide for himself what this money is spent on ‘with due regard for the public interest’, according to Rutte.
No initiative to change law
Last year, a majority of the House adopted a motion to periodically review this expense allowance to see whether it is still appropriate. According to Rutte, this is not possible, because these expenses fall within the personal sphere of the king.
And that is why no judgment can be made as to whether this compensation is ‘still appropriate to the amount of personnel and material expenses’, he writes. To make this possible, the law would have to be amended and Rutte sees ‘no reason’ to take the initiative.
This month, the House of Representatives will discuss the budget of the Ministry of General Affairs, which includes the royal family. The issue will be raised there again.