A recent Freedom Of Information (FOI) request has revealed exactly how much the British embassy in Bangkok costs the UK Treasury every year.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) answered the FOI request, saying that the annual budget for the Bangkok Embassy in the financial year 2014 to 2015 was a total of £2,082,146 (฿110,950,040) to cover all activities.
The total cost of running the actual consular mission in Bangkok during the financial year 2014 to 2015 was calculated by the FCO to be £1,564,076 (฿83,349,335).
That figure includes the total direct expenditure of the consular operation together with its costs for management and support.
Money was clawed back by the British consulate by way of fees charged for their services – a whopping total of £576,233.47 (฿30,707,380) during 2014-2015.
The FCO explain that UK government policy is that consular fees are determined so they cover the full cost of the British mission all over the world.
As such, fees for consular services are set at the same level globally – regardless of whether you’re in Bangkok, Beirut or the Bahamas – rather than adjusted for each individual location.
This ensures that consular services are paid for by the beneficiaries of the service, rather than being subsidised by the UK taxpayer.
As well as providing consular assistance to British nationals in Thailand, the UK embassy in Bangkok also manages relations between the two countries over a broad range of issues, including trade, politics, investment, security and the economy.
It also assists Thais with visa applications to visit, study, live or work in the UK.
Featured image is of Mark Kent, UK Ambassador to Thailand, with embassy staff from the UK In Thailand Facebook page