Margaret Thatcher and Her Frugal Ways | Summary and Q&A

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December 16, 2017
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Margaret Thatcher and Her Frugal Ways

TL;DR

Margaret Thatcher, the UK's former Prime Minister, was known for her extreme frugality and refusal to waste taxpayer money.

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Questions & Answers

Q: Why did Margaret Thatcher object to the cost of cleaning and preparing her official residence?

Thatcher was unhappy with the £1,836 quote, especially the £464 for linen and bedding, as she believed she already had sufficient linen and used only one bedroom.

Q: How did Margaret Thatcher demonstrate her frugality as Prime Minister?

Thatcher bought her own ironing board after seeing it listed at £19 in the quote, and she refused to draw her full salary, often recommending that other ministers do the same.

Q: What influenced Margaret Thatcher's extreme frugality?

Thatcher's father, a frugal grocer, instilled in her a mindset of never wasting a minute and not spending money unnecessarily, which persisted throughout her life.

Q: How did Thatcher respond to requests for office improvements?

When the Secretary of State for Wales requested £26,000 for office improvements, Thatcher tersely replied, "Get some other estimates," leading the estimate to significantly decrease to £11,000.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Margaret Thatcher was shocked by the £1,836 quote to clean and prepare her official residence, particularly the £464 cost for linen and bedding.

  • Thatcher demanded the spending on Number 10 be as economical as possible, buying her own ironing board and refusing to draw her full salary.

  • Her frugality was influenced by her father's miserly personality, and she clashed with affluent peers due to her aversion to unnecessary spending.

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