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Volume 470: debated on Thursday 17 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will lower the age of eligibility for free passports to 65 years. (174596)

[holding answer 17 December 2007]: When the then Home Secretary announced the introduction of free passports on 19 May 2004, he made it clear that this was a special concession for the second world war generation, as a way of recognising all those who had contributed to the national effort during the war years. Those who qualify are British nationals born on or before 2 September 1929 and therefore were old enough by the end of the war to have made a substantial contribution to the national effort.

There are no plans to provide free passports to all those aged 65 or over. This would be considerably more expensive and could lead to an increase in passport fees for all other applicants.