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Diplomats (Education Allowances)

Volume 957: debated on Thursday 9 November 1978

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) whether increases in tax-free educational allowances paid to diplomats will be subject to the Government's 5 per cent. limit on incomes;(2) what the increase in the cost of diplomats' tax-free educational allowances was in the last financial year; and whether this was in accordance with the Government's pay policy.

The cost of boarding school allowances paid to Diplomatic Service staff serving overseas—which are tax free—increased by £236,048 to £1,814,991 in the financial year 1977–78. Changes in the boarding school allowance ceilings, within which boarding school fees may be reimbursed, are made in order to reflect increases in average boarding school fees. Pay policy limitations do not apply to payments, like boarding school allowance, which reimburse staff for expenses necessarily incurred in the course of, or as a consequence of, their employment.