Pensioners will have to pay for passportsMonday 11 April 2011 22.12
Under new pricing regulations, pensioners are no longer exempt from passport charges and all passports issued via passport office counter services - including those for children - will cost an extra €15.
Since 2005 over 65s were entitled to get their passports for free, but they will now have to pay €95, which is the new cost of a standard €10 year passport if they go to a passport office.
The price is €80 is they use the passport express service from An Post.
A spokesperson for the Dept of Foreign Affairs said the changes are due to budgetary constraints but stressed everyone can use the passport express service allowing them obtain passports at the old rates.
60% of passports are issued through this system.
Active Retirement Ireland says the Government should reconsider its decision to reintroduce full passport fees for over 65s.
The organisation says the imposition of the fee will deter older people from renewing their passports.
Chief Executive Maureen Kavanagh said that many of its 23,000 members felt betrayed as Fine Gael and the Labour Party in opposition had promised to protect older people's rights and entitlements.
Ms Kavanagh claims that, despite this rhetoric, the new Government was withdrawing the benefit to save what she called the 'minimal' sum of €3.6m annually.
She says the Government should consider a lesser fee for over 65s or a waiver of fees for over 70s, which already applies to the renewal of driving licences.
The €15 increase applies to children’s passports as well.