Page last updated at 14:39 GMT, Tuesday, 7 July 2009 15:39 UK

Cost of new passports to increase

British passport
Prices last rose, by 6, in 2007

The cost of getting a new passport is to rise by more than £5 - or 7% - with ministers blaming a drop in income following a fall in applications.

From 3 September, the cost of an adult passport will rise from £72 to £77.50 while a child's will rise by £3 to £49.

The recession has reduced the number of passport applicants, hitting revenues at the Identity and Passport Service.

Ministers said the hike, the first since 2007, would also help to pay for enhanced passport security measures.

'High standards'

More than eight million biometric passports - which have photographs and other personal details scanned onto them - have been issued since 2007.

Immigration minister Phil Woolas said the price increase would maintain "the high standards in customer service and document security British citizens have come to expect".

The price increase is not related to the cost of setting up the national identity card scheme, because revenue for the passport service is ring-fenced.

PAST INCREASES
2007: £72
2006: £66
2005: £51
2003: £42
2002: £33

But the Conservatives said people were paying the price for the government's determination to proceed with ID cards.

"The government admits that it has no idea how many people will have to volunteer for ID cards before they cover their costs so it looks like the cost is being lumped onto our passports," said shadow home secretary Chris Grayling.

The Lib Dems said the cost of passports had more than quadrupled since Labour came to power.

"This price hike is exactly the kind of thing we can expect when the government starts to lose money hand over fist on ID cards," said its home affairs spokesman Chris Huhne.

The cost of fast-track renewal will rise by £15.50 with same-day service costing £129.50 and one-week renewal costing £112.50.

Those over 80 will continue to receive passports free.



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MPs question new passport costs
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