Records of spending on children of UK diplomats children have been revealed, depicting a huge amount of money the Foreign Office wastes on its ambassadors.
The government’s outlay on the fees represents a year-over-year increase of roughly a third. Furthermore, the data indicated that the median expense of providing financial aid for each child’s private education, has increased exponentially in recent years.
Over 13 million pounds have been quoted as money the Foreign Office paid to some elite private schools in UK, for the wards of diplomats.
The report was revealed in Parliament as the Foreign Office was questioned on funding for the continuity of education allowance.
According to the report, under the centuries-old diplomatic allowance system, some employees in the office are qualified to put their ward’s education expenses in the expenditure of the department.
The program further grants diplomats the independence to travel abroad at an instant notice or consent to a long-term diplomatic post to a dangerous environment.
Though many private schools have raised their tuition, expenditure on the CEA has nevertheless surged significantly.
According to Foreign Office Minister David Rutley, £13.7 million was utilized in the 2022–23 fiscal year to subsidize the cost of private school tuition. The amount increased from £10.5m the year before. however, the cost in 2020–21 was £12 million.
The data further revealed that, the current expenditure shows that the total spending of the CEA is gradually returning to the levels of pre-pandemic era. The data also revealed that, the expenses of a child has increased exponentially in recent years.
The Foreign Office covered the tuition of over 500 students of various ages last year, which amounted to a cost of £26,848 on the average. This represents a 35% increase from the 2021-2022 academic year, when £19,849 was the sum total cost of 531 students.
Moreover, the Foreign Office, in addition to taking care of tuitions for diplomats’ wards in boarding school, it further covers the cost of education for diplomats who bring their wards on an extended abroad assignment. So far, international tuition in 2022–2023 stands at £24.14 million.
However, there have been public outrage over the misuse of taxpayer’s money, amid an impending economic difficulty. Others have even attributed the recent rise in cost of living to the huge expenditure of the Foreign Office on diplomats.
The Chief Executive of TaxPayers’ Alliance, John O’Connell stated that, there will never be an ease as soon as ordinary taxpayers’ get hold of these records.
“While diplomats often have to move at a moment’s notice, the scale of these subsidies is difficult to justify, particularly during a cost-of-living crisis. Diplomats should expect to send their children to one of our brilliant state schools, like everybody else does, or pay private school fees themselves.”John O’Connell, Chief Executive of TaxPayers’ Alliance.
According to a Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office spokesperson, the nature of work their staffs perform demand some help from the government to aid their activities.
“Our staff are often asked to move frequently during their career, sometimes at very short notice, which is why it has been the policy of successive governments to support eligible families so that their children’s education is disrupted as little as possible.
“There are clear caps on compensation offered to staff. The increase in our spending reflects the inclusion of legacy DfID staff and legacy FCO staff in a single FCDO figure from this year, and a rise in boarding school fees.”FCDO Spokesman.