UK diplomats to feel the pinch as perks cut

| 09/12/2009

(CNS): The Cayman Islands’ new governor could be flying to the island in economy next month following British Chancellor Alistair Darling’s decision to make UK diplomats tighten their belts, according to news from the UK. The BBC reports that Britain’s representatives overseas are to be stripped of perks that total around £13 million per year. In future, embassy and foreign office staff will have to travel economy class on flights under five hours – and not claim as much for their children’s private education. There will also be a wholesale reform of their expenses system.

The changes – which are hidden away in a footnote to the pre-Budget report – are likely to cause "gnashing of teeth in embassies across the world", says the BBC’s deputy Political Editor James Landale. According to 2007 figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, educating children of Foreign Office diplomats costs UK taxpayers £20m a year.

Most of the 540 children educated privately were at boarding schools, the figures revealed, including a handful at top public schools such as Eton, Winchester and Roedean.

The Foreign Office says its staff can be moved anywhere at short notice, and while it normally insists children are educated in the country to which their parents have been posted, some have boarding school fees paid to avoid disrupting their education.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Before you criticise the travel arrangements of your elected representatives you should be aware that Premier McKeeva Bush lambasted British Government minister Chris Bryant in London this week for his recent patronising treatment of Cayman and the other overseas territories. 


    So much so that at a function in Lancaster House on Wednesday evening, in front of leaders of all the territories Mr Bryant ackowledged the contribution made to the global and UK economies by our robust financial services community. That’s something of a change from a few months ago.

    To achieve this change in attitude requires face to face meetings and these have to take place in London. Mr McKeeva Bush would not achieve much sitting in his armchair in Cayman. 


  2. Anonymous says:

    Oh dear thay have cut their aid to Cayman ! Jolly good!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Great! Similar measures should be put in place here. It would be interesting to obtain the statement of costs incurred by our travelling government officials and those accompanying them.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Maybe our current government could follow suit? Unlikely, I know, but we can always hope…