Cut in perks due at FCO

British diplomats will have to tighten their belts in future as Chancellor Alistair Darling imposed swingeing cuts on the FCO in his pre-budget report.

Foreign service officers are to be stripped of privileges totalling £13m a year as the Chancellor seeks ways to plug Britain’s £178bn budget deficit.

In future, embassy staff will have to travel economy class on flights under five hours – and not claim as much for their children’s private education.

A total overhaul of the FCO expenses system is also expected.
According to 2007 figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, educating children of Foreign Office diplomats costs UK taxpayers £20m a year, because many of the 540 children are educated at public boarding schools