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Abolish interviews for passport applicants

Comment 5th July 2010

Since 2007, adults applying for their first UK passport have been required to attend a face-to-face interview at their nearest passport office.  The scheme was designed to reduce fraudulent applications for passports, and even though more than half a million people have been interviewed, only 8 people have had their passport application rejected as a result.  No one was ever prosecuted or convicted of fraud though.  It seems like a lot of inconvenience and expense for little benefit, so I think the interviews should be scrapped.

Why does this matter?

The system of face-to-face interviews cost £93 million to set up, with £30 million a year running costs on top. It has helped push the price of a standard passport up from £28 in 2001 to £77.50 today.

In addition, it means that many people have to take a day off work in order to travel to their nearest passport office to take part in the interview.

If the interviews are scrapped, the cost of passports could be reduced and it will help restore people's civil liberties.

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