Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Questions (77)

Seán Crowe

Question:

77. Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the number of passports issued to persons over 65 years of age in each of the years 2012 to 2018; and the estimated cost per year if free passports were reintroduced for persons over 65 years of age. [18491/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Foreign)

The cost of the standard ten year adult Irish passport compares favourably with many other jurisdictions. At a cost of €80, which breaks down to €8 per year, the Irish passport fee compares with approximately €8.75 per year for a British passport, €8.60 per year for a French passport, €9.90 per year for renewal of an American passport and €18.50 per year for an Australian passport.

The number of passports issued to persons who were over 65 years of age at the time of application for the years requested is detailed in the table below. Based on the volume of passports issued for the years requested, the Passport Service has calculated the potential annual cost of eliminating the passport application fee for applicants over 65 as follows:

Year

Number of passports issued to over 65s

Passport fees from applicants over 65

2012

45,092

€3,60,7360

2013

47,234

€3,778,720

2014

53,478

€4,278,240

2015

58,074

€4,645,920

2016

69,340

€5,547,200

2017

76,995

€6,159,600

2018

79,180

€6,334,400

At present, a reduced fee is applied only on applications for passports for minors in recognition of the fact that a minor’s passport is valid for only five years. Most adult passports will be issued for a period of ten years. Given that any shortfall in revenue would have to be met by the taxpayer, a decision to waive or reduce the application fee for any category of applicant would require careful consideration.

Question No. 78 answered with Question No. 76.