Congestion Charging Embassy Outstanding Debt (1)

Meeting: 
MQT on 2014-03-19
Session date: 
March 19, 2014
Reference: 
2014/1312
Question By: 
Caroline Pidgeon
Organisation: 
Liberal Democrats
Asked Of: 
The Mayor

Question

According to Transport for London, the 70 largest debts owed for unpaid congestion charges by embassies exceed £75million. What steps have you taken this year to recover outstanding debt?

Answer

Answer for Congestion Charging Embassy Outstanding Debt (1)

Answer for Congestion Charging Embassy Outstanding Debt (1)

Answered By: 
The Mayor

My position on this matter has always been clear; the Congestion Charge is a charge for a service and not a tax. This means that diplomats are not exempt from paying it.  Around three quarters of embassies in London do pay the charge, but despite our consistent and repeated representations through diplomatic channels, there remains a stubborn minority who refuse to do so.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), TfL and I all continue to pursue unpaid Congestion Charge fees and related penalty charge notices. Following the latest legal advice, we are pushing for the matter to be taken up at the International Court of Justice. This requires Government support and this has been raised with the FCO, who are considering this matter.