Yesterday I launched a redesigned Irish passport that incorporates images of Irish landscape and culture with innovative and enhanced security features. Over the lifetime of the contract for this booklet the average cost of the blank book will be halved. In these current economic times the procurement of an enhanced product from an Irish company at a lower cost to the Irish people is to be welcomed. Passport prices will not be reduced. At present all passport revenues received are returned to the exchequer. Furthermore, the Passport Service needs to replace the software and machinery used in the production of passports, both of which are nearing the end of their service. This will require additional investment over the coming period.