Friday, 30 August 2013

Taking The Diplomatic Mickey

Everyone knows that the diplomats from third world countries often commit abuses under the cover of diplomatic immunity (sometimes terrible crimes such as child abuse, rape and murder), but usually its parking offences, shoplifting and espionage.

So imagine my surprise when the British Foreign Secretary William Hague issued a name and shame list of the chief financial offenders in London, and that the list was topped by the United States, which owes a total of traffic offences and other taxes of £7.2 million. The next worse offender is the £4.89 million owed by the Russian Federation and £4.85 million the Japanese owe.

Diplomatic Abuse Is Rife In The UK and USA

The primary reason is the London congestion charge which all these embassies refuse to pay and so far this has produced a total arrears bill of £67.5 million in unpaid congestion charges alone. This can be added to the unpaid parking tickets (which in 2012 alone amounted to £344,777), of which the chief offenders are the arrogant Nigerians who owe £84,000 followed by the Saudi's who owe £24,000 - the US on the other hand owes a modest £1,555 for parking offences.

Oddly Mr Hague also reported that some embassies owe business rates as well - £97,987 is owed by the Ivory Coast, followed by China owing £94,377. I have no idea what sort of businesses are run from inside embassies, and have to suspect that this is yet another scam, but the Foreign Secretary didn't elaborate.

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