Everyone’s obsessed with passports these days aren’t they?
Brexiters claimed a huge victory back in December when they declared that the ‘iconic’ blue passport was coming back in the wake of our freedom from the yolk of the EU before it was pointed out that a) there were plenty more iconic things about being British than a blue passport, b) we, er, actually could have had blue passports whenever we liked and c) there was a good chance that any new blue passports could be made in France or Germany which would be, frankly, hilarious.
Let’s be honest, the whole ‘passport colour’ thing is a complete waste of time that no one with any sense really cares about.
But passports are back in the news again - and this time it’s actually probably worth taking notice, because this could save you some money.
It’s been confirmed that the fees for passport applications will rise before Easter, with the cost of a child’s one due to go up by a whopping 27%.
The cost of applying for an adult passport will rise from £72.50 to £85, while a passport for a child under 16 will now cost £58.50, up from £46.
Labour had tried to block the rise in price, but Tory MPs have now confirmed that they will come into force on 27 March, after a proposal was passed in a Commons vote by 317 to 258.
The new prices will apply to postal applications only, although online applications will also be rising, albeit by much less, with an adult passport bought online costing £75.50 and a child’s £49.
And, of course, you can avoid the rise entirely if yours is coming up for renewal soon, or you don’t have one yet, by applying before that deadline arrives later this month.
The move is apparently to ‘encourage’ a greater uptake of online services but, with one in ten households in Great Britain not having internet access, this doesn’t really seem like a fair way to do it.
Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott told the Mirror: “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.”
HM Passport Office is apparently expected to make £50 million in the 2018-19 financial year from the fee increase.
Personally, we’ll be hanging on until March 2019 when we can finally get that blue passport we’ve dreamed of all our lives while suffering under the tyranny of the burgandy passport, whose colour we could have changed at any point but didn’t bother. It’s the patriotic thing to do, right guys?