Monday, January 14, 2013
While much of Europe is enduring a seemingly endless debt crisis, monarchs continue to live comfortably, feeding off of annual public stipends. Belgium's Queen Fabiola has a private fund that allows her to bequeath party of her fortune to nieces and nephews without paying taxes. The Queen's inheritance plan is seen as a tax dodge on a fortune that is amassed with taxpayer's money. The Prime Minister shares the strong emotions of the ordinary citizens towards this tax dodge. He called the queen's plan "ethically flawed" even if it is legal.
The Queen issued a statement, saying that none of the money granted by the government would be used in her private fund--only her private money would be. She says that she spends the government stipend on housekeeping, which is largely comprised of staff wages.
See Sean O'Hare, Belgian Queen Criticised By Her Own PM Over Legal Tax Dodge as the Country's Economy Struggles, MailOnline, Jan. 11, 2013.
Special thanks to Brian Cohan (Attorney at Law, Law Offices of Brian J. Cohan, P.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.