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Passports: Fees and Charges

Volume 462: debated on Thursday 28 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the cost of a passport was in each of the last 10 years; and what the reason was for each change. (144033)

The following table shows the fee for a standard passport at the end of each year:

£

1997

18

1998

21

1999

28

2000

28

2001

28

2002

30

2003

42

2004

42

2005

51

2006

66

2007

72

The fees were increased in March 1998 to take account of inflation. Fees were increased in December 1999 to pay for service improvements, including the opening of an additional passport office, and a range of customer service enhancements including the creation of 24/7 call centres and extended public office opening hours, following the passport crisis that year, and to recover cost deficits incurred during the crisis.

Fees were increased in November 2002 in order to complete the recovery of deficits incurred in 1999 and to take account of increases in the cost of consular assistance to British nationals travelling abroad.

Fees were increased in October 2003 to pay for improved anti fraud measures and the introduction of the secure delivery service for passports.

Increases in December 2005 and October 2006 were a two stage increase to pay for the development and introduction of biometric passports and further improvements in security, including interviews for adult first time applicants.

The increase announced by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for October 2007 is to pay for increased costs in providing consular assistance to British nationals travelling abroad.