Teresa will today vote for a motion calling on the Government to provide a refund for people who have had to pay additional fees to have their passport applications upgraded as a result of the crisis in the passport office.
After the delays and problems at the passport office over the last few weeks, Teresa has called on the Home Secretary, Theresa May, to make a one-off goodwill refund of fees for people who applied for their passports in good time but were forced to upgrade them because of the crisis and mismanagement in the passport office.
As part of efforts to tackle the crisis that has engulfed the Home Office in recent weeks, the Home Secretary has announced temporary measures. These include a free ‘upgrade’ to fast-tracking of applications from people who have already been waiting over 3 weeks and who travel within the next 7 days. But over the last few weeks, many people across Erith & Thamesmead have been forced to pay £55 to have their passport applications fast-tracked because the HMPO could not ensure their passport would be processed within the Government’s 3 week target time-frame. The Government’s measures will not result in any help for these people.
Teresa is joining Labour colleagues and calling on the Government to pay back these additional fees to those who have had to upgrade through no fault of their own in the past few weeks.
“Over the last few weeks a number of constituents have got in touch to tell me of the stress they’ve been having with their passports, and the extra money they’ve had to pay to get it sorted. I think it’s about time Ministers apologised for this mess and refund the upgrade fees people have had to pay just to get their passports on time.
It’s unacceptable that the Passport Office should make money out of Theresa May’s incompetence and mismanagement, and her urgent measures just don’t do anything for families and people who have already been forced to pay. It’s time Theresa May got a grip and give people their money back. A holiday is a luxury for most people, and it is not fair that those who have worked hard in order to be able to enjoy time away should have to suffer this stress when they have done everything right.”