§ Mr. Kirkhope
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he has any plans to increase fees for consular services.
§ Mr. Eggar
Yes. An Order in Council (the Consular Fees Order 1987) was made on 21 July 1987, the first300W opportunity following the new Session of Parliament. It provides for increases in certain consular fees with effect from Tuesday, 1 September 1987. Passport and visa fees are not included in the increases. Subject to the effects of exchange rate movements and overseas inflation, the new fee levels should reduce the deficit on consular fee-bearing services to about £500,000 in 1988–89.
The increases will be the first since November 1983. Since then costs, particularly overseas, have increased substantially. It has been the policy of this and previous Governments that the cost of consular services should as far as possible be borne by the users.