How much did the Platinum Jubilee festivities cost?
jeanniejeanniejeannie.co.uk BLOG Friday 10th June 2022
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
How much did the Platinum Jubilee festivities cost?
Millions of pounds spent on celebrations by taxpayers, National Lottery and event sponsors
Even before the bunting was unfurled and the street party tables were laid, some had questioned whether the Platinum Jubilee celebrations were worth the expense.
There had been some confusion on social media as to exactly how much the festivities would cost UK taxpayers, with Full Fact clarifying that miscalculations had severely overestimated the amount. But how much did it cost?
Rishi Sunak set aside £28m to fund the festivities in last year’s budget. “Such a sum may be a lot for individuals, but is peanuts for governments,” said The Times. The amount would “run the NHS for about two hours” and worked out to be around £1 per household.
The £28m was “divided accordingly”, said The Mirror, with some allocated to “help revamp venues” such as village halls. The Department for Education spent £12m on the publication of a commemorative book for primary school children in the UK. Highlighting milestones and achievements of the Queen’s 70-year reign, the book’s cost amounted to around £3 per pupil.
The Metropolitan Police said that the costs of policing during the event would only be known afterwards, but there were also increased night patrols across the country, “creating a highly visible presence” during the celebrations, said Yahoo Finance. Individual councils also spent money on their own celebrations, including the beacon lighting that took place on Thursday.
The National Lottery also made £22m available for communities across England, with 70 community projects receiving grants of up to £50,000. Arts Council England’s Let’s Create Jubilee Fund also issued grants of up to £10,000 to make sure creative and cultural activities took “centre stage” during the celebrations, said The Independent. Another £175,000 was also distributed to local libraries.
The “crown jewel” of the weekend’s celebrations was the Jubilee Pageant, said The Times, a display expected to cost around £15m. The event, which The Times said featured a “surreal image of a hologram Queen”, was organised by the Platinum Jubilee Pageant Ltd, which the paper said had been “independently fundraising to deliver the pageant at no cost to the taxpayer”. Sponsors including Burberry, Jaguar and Meta provided some of the funding.
Ahead of the celebration, the Centre for Retail Research expects celebrants to spend over £400million.
And VisitBritain reported that the Jubilee could bring a much-needed £1.2billion boost to the UK economy.
While the total bill for the celebrations would “be barely noticed on the public balance sheet”, The Times said that “the entire country not working for an extra day” would. An impact assessment published by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport in February indicated that the additional jubilee bank holiday could cost the economy around £2.39bn.
AND ANOTHER VIEW FROM FORTUNE MAGAZINE
As thousands of Brits celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s platinum jubilee in the United Kingdom, some can’t help but wonder how much the festivities are costing them.
After 70 years of service, the queen is the first British monarch to reach that milestone, and the U.K. is marking the occasion with four days of public festivities.
The long weekend kicked off Thursday with a military parade of more than 1,400 soldiers, 200 horses, and 400 musicians to honour the queen’s birthday. Other festivities include a cathedral service Friday and a party at Buckingham Palace on Saturday. The extravagance will culminate Sunday in a £15 million pageant carnival complete with celebrity performers.
In 2021, both Chancellor Rishi Sunak and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport, which is responsible for hosting the jubilee, said the government would set aside £28 million for its celebratory events. That figure was repeated again in a House of Commons committee report published in March.
The £28 million cost has seen some criticism from U.K. taxpayers, who say it is hefty for a country whose economy is getting hit by the pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and the rising cost of living crisis.
But that sum does not distinguish between the amount funded by partner organizations and paid for by taxpayer dollars. For example, the £15 million “People’s Pageant” finale was financed with independent fundraising and will be “at no cost to the taxpayer,” according to the DCMS. More than £22 million in national lottery funding will also be used to fund community celebrations, per the platinum jubilee website.
The DCMS did not respond to a request for comment on the criticisms or with an updated cost prediction.
Still, the jubilee weekend will rake in profits, especially for the retail, hospitality, and tourism sectors, with more than 16,000 street parties set to take place. The holiday could draw as many as 2.6 million domestic and international tourists to the capital, according to the New West End Company.
Last week, vouchercodes.co.uk released a report predicting celebrants will spend £3.47 billion in retail stores—£2.25 billion of that on food and beverages—and an additional £2.9 billion at pubs, restaurants, and experiences. The Centre for Retail Research expects consumers to splurge over £400 million; £281.5 million of that would go to souvenirs, memorabilia, and gifts. And VisitBritain reported the jubilee could bring a much-needed £1.2 billion boost to the economy.
Despite these optimistic forecasts, the DCMS suggested the weekend might not bring in enough revenue to outweigh the amount spent. The £28 million cost does not account for the impact of a one-off extra bank holiday arranged on Friday.
The department estimated a £2.39 billion loss—around 0.09% of U.K. GDP in 2020—from the bank holiday caused by business closures, according to its August 2021 impact assessment. The assessment for the queen’s diamond jubilee in 2012 predicted a loss of £1.2 billion or £1.5 billion adjusted for inflation to the economy.
“The fall we predict in GDP takes into account both the output lost from the extra bank holiday, but also the output that might be gained in certain sectors like hospitality and tourism,” the assessment said of its calculations for the platinum jubilee’s impact on GDP.
The assessment looked at how GDP performed after past jubilees, acknowledging that “prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the largest monthly decreases in GDP were in the months of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 2002 (-2.2%) and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012 (-1.5%).”
Yet the department noted that in the months after the golden and diamond jubilee, the GDP growth rate returned to 1.55% and 1.85%, respectively. It expected to see a similar “bounce-back” effect in the next quarter after the celebratory weekend.
“If the Platinum Jubilee bank holiday weekend is considered within only one month or quarter, then there is likely to be a sharp negative impact on output, as the loss in output is likely to exceed the increase in spending for that day,” the department cautioned.
“However, if the impact of the bank holiday is measured over a longer period of time, then the net effect may counteract some of this decrease,” it added.
Even without the impact assessment’s estimated £2.39 billion loss, the platinum jubilee nears the cost of other major British royal events. Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding cost a reported £30 million, and Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding racked up a £32 million bill, according to Express.
TOP TEN OF THE DAY
TOP 11 Britain’s Got Talent voting figures
On Sunday 5th June 2022 the Britain’s Got Talent Final was broadcast on ITV. Here is the final Top 11 acts in order of percentage of the total votes cast, beginning with No.1 with the most votes.
- Axel Blake – 19.7%
- Jake Leahey – 14.7%
- Tom Ball – 14.2%
- Maxwell Thorpe – 14%
- Eva Abley – 8.4%
- Flintz & T4ylor – 8.3%
- Aneeshwar Kunchala – 6.0%
- Ben Nickless – 5.7%
- Loren Allred – 3.3%
- Amber and the Dancing Collies – 3.2%
- Five Star Boys – 2.5%
REMEMBER: The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.
– Nicolas Chamfort
INSPIRATIONAL QUOTE FOR THE DAY
Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving. – Albert Einstein.
Happiness is…spending megabucks on the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
GRANDAD’S ONE LINER JOKE OF THE DAY
If prisoners could take their own mug shots…They’d be called cellfies.
Love is…when you couldn’t imagine being with anyone else.
PEARLS OF WISDOM
“The harder you fall, the higher you bounce.” —Anonymous
A time for Axel Blake.A time for Jake Leahey on Britain’s Got Talent
©2022 Phil M Robinson