Netherlands asks its King to pay tax: Why Queen Elizabeth would have loved this | World News - Hindustan Times
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Netherlands asks its King to pay tax: Why Queen Elizabeth would have loved this

Jan 19, 2024 09:48 PM IST

The Dutch royal family receives tax-free money from taxpayers on top of their private income.

Dutch lawmakers are set to vote on the first step towards requiring King Willem-Alexander and his family to pay income tax. The plan would require an amendment to the constitution but the initial motion is expected to be put to the vote and will need only a simple majority to pass. As per the new law, the government wants a constitutional change which would then need backing from two-thirds of both houses of parliament to be cleared. The proposal appears to have enough support as a lawmaker from the left-wing Socialistische Partij said during a debate on the issue that “a blue envelope for blue blood” is needed, while referring to blue envelope in which tax letters arrive in Dutch mailboxes.

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima arrive at the Royal Palace for the traditional New Year's reception in Amsterdam.(AFP)
King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima arrive at the Royal Palace for the traditional New Year's reception in Amsterdam.(AFP)

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Far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders, whose party won a parliamentary election in November but lacks majority, favours the change, although outgoing premier Mark Rutte denied it during his 13-year term. Mark Rutte said that a constitutional amendment was “too complicated” but members of parliament who support taxing the royal family hope that a new coalition government might lead to a change.

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What has been the rule so far?

The Dutch royal family receives tax-free money from taxpayers on top of their private income. In 2024, the king, his wife Queen Maxima, his daughter and future heir Princess Amalia, and his mother, the former Queen Beatrix, received 11.6 million euros altogether. Princess Amalia said she would reimburse her share. The royal family has lost their popularity for travelling during the Covid pandemic as only 55% now support the monarchy, down from 70% right before it broke out, as per a recent poll.

In 1992, Britain's then-Queen Elizabeth offering to pay income tax for the first time as she faced criticism.

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