The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Mark Simmonds said:
The majority of diplomatic missions in the United Kingdom pay the National Non-Domestic Rates (NNDR) due from them. Diplomatic missions are obliged to pay only 6% of the total NNDR value of their offices. This represents payment for specific services such as street cleaning and street lighting.
Representations by the Protocol Directorate of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to missions in 2014 led to the settlement of outstanding debts by Kuwait, Maldives, Nepal, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia and Sri Lanka - amongst others.
As at 30 June 2014, the total amount of outstanding NNDR payments owed by foreign diplomatic missions as advised by the Valuation Office Agency is £726,076, an increase of 7% over the 2012 figure, as reported in my 2013 WMS (£674,110). However, £72,137 of this outstanding debt is owed by Iran – which is in the process of reopening its embassy in the UK, and Syria – which is not currently represented in the UK. We have therefore been unable to pursue these debts. Three missions are responsible for just over half of the remainder. We shall continue to urge those with NNDR debt to pay their dues.
Missions listed below owed over £10,000 in respect of NNDR.
|Embassy of the People’s Republic of China
|Embassy of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire
|High Commission for the People’s Republic of Bangladesh
|Sierra Leone High Commission
|Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania
|Embassy of the Republic of the Sudan
|Embassy of the Republic of Korea
|Embassy of the Republic of Liberia
|Embassy of Ukraine
|Embassy of the Republic of Albania
|Embassy of the Republic of Zimbabwe
|Embassy of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
Figures for previous years are available in my written statement to the House on 11 July 2013, Official Report, column 32WS.
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