The fees for passport applications will rise before Easter – and the cost of a child’s one is set to go up by 27 per cent.The cost of an application for an adult passport will increase from £72.50 to £85 while a passport for children under 16 will now cost £58.50, up from £46.Labour had tried to block the price rise, but they have now been confirmed as coming into force by Tory MPs, the Mirror reports.
The proposal was passed in a House of Commons vote by 317 to 258.The new prices, which only apply to postal applications, will come into effect on March 27.Applicants can avoid the price hike by applying for a passport in the coming weeks.Online application fees will also rise, but by less.
Adults will have to pay £75.50 for a passport while a child’s will cost £49.Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott said the price rise could force some families to cancel their holidays.
‘This whopping increase will hit families badly and could see some families being forced to cancel their summer holiday plans as the costs become too high,’ she said, according to the Mirror.
The price rises are part of a drive to increase the use of online services.An impact assessment said HM Passport Office is expected to receive additional income of up to £50 million in the financial year 2018-
19 from the fee increase.The document notes that HMPO has identified that up to 200 extra staff may be needed to handle extra demand that may occur between the fee increase becoming public knowledge and
the new fees coming into force.One in ten households in Great Britain do not have internet access, according to official figures.The Government emphasised that adults choosing to apply online would still
be paying less than they would have in 2009, with passport fees having reduced in 2012.The price rises are unrelated to the announcement that the UK passport will change colour from burgundy to blue after
Britain leaves the EU.HMPO processes over six million passport applications each year.