John Key said “Good news is coming” and we all know he was talking about the move to increase the term of passports from five years to ten. It is indeed good to see a small crack in the wall of bureaucratic tyranny.
However I was astonished to see reports that Key then said the cost of renewing passports will rise as a result of this change. How can this be when there will be less work? How can this be when the NZ passport is already one of the most expensive to renew in the world?
The NZ Herald-
Mr Key has previously warned that a return to 10- year passports is likely to lead to higher fees because revenue from processing the documents will fall. At present, it costs $135 to renew a passport. Analysis by the Taxpayers’ Union showed that fee was more expensive than nearly every other comparable country.
Key’s justification for this outrageous statement is the same old same old gutless National capitulation to big government. Rather than doing the taxpayer a favour and taking the steps that the change will enable, like sacking a few passport office workers, (hopefully those who thought up the five year plan in the first place) all Key can think of is increasing fees to keep another bloated over-manned govt office in the style to which it has become accustomed.
Key says he’s not going to become arrogant. Well, his approach to this issue sure doesn’t support that promise. He needs to do the right thing and extend the term to 10 years and cut the fees in half.
The purpose of the Passport Office is not to raise revenue for a greedy leeching ever expanding govt, it is to provide a service to the public.