Cost of Royal Wedding a Political Football

Posted on April 26, 2011

There are two aspects of the cost of the upcoming Royal Wedding the press keeps underscoring:

  1. Cost to the British economy.
  2. Cost to Taxpayers

It is important to note that in both categories above, the cost is difficult to accurately determine.   Of course the anti-Royalists, the Republicans, put it at a high figure.  If asked today, economists and tax authorities would be hard pressed to place a figure on the true cost of Diana and Charles’ wedding.

It is equally important to know that the figures quoted in the press over the past few months have fluctuated wildly.

About the cost to the economy:

But according to the consulting firm Investec, a day without work could knock as much as a quarter of a percent off growth for the quarter, translating to a loss to the economy of as much as $50 billion. “You will basically lose a day of output, and largely speaking that will be that,” Philip Shaw, an Investec economist, has said.

[ Related: Who is paying for the royal wedding? ]

A business lobbying group has put the loss figure at around $10 billion. But either way, it’s likely to far outstrip the positive impact on the economy from the influx of tourists and sales of wedding memorabilia, estimated at around $1.5-2 billion.

The additional holiday also means that this week will contain just three work days, because Easter Monday was a holiday, too. Britain also had last Friday off (Easter Friday) and will be idle next Monday  because of the annual May Day holiday, observed on the first Monday of every May. Because of all the holidays, Britons can get an 11-day stretch away from work while using only three vacation days — and many are doing just that. As a result, the accounting firm RSM Tenon has said Britain will effectively close for business for the last two weeks of the month.[Royal Wedding]

And the cost to taxpayers?  Here is the Daily Mail’s screaming headline that puts the cost much less than most estimates.

Most expensive security event in history: Royal wedding cost rises to £20m as police earn double time for working bank holiday

Uncharistically, CNN released this report that is somewhat balanced.  Well, as Fox newscasters are fond of saying “you decide.”

Say now, my mother raised me to avoid mention of cost, not to flip over the plate at a dinner party to check who made it or the silver for same reason, and that pointing out the rudeness of others was the height of rudeness.  As a result of this last one, SamHenry remains uncharacteristically silent.