Boris Johnson has today threatened to privatise the Passport Office because he can’t understand why so many people didn’t renew their passport when it was much quieter and the world was locked down.
As some applicants are being forced to pay for more expensive and quicker application services, and others are missing holidays entirely, the government has decided the problem lays squarely at the feet of those in the Passport Office.
Potential holidaymaker Simon Williams told us, “A passport costs £95, and only lasts 10 years, so even though mine expired in early 2020, why would I buy my replacement passport when I was told I couldn’t venture further than my own garden for 23 hours a day?
“Surely Boris can’t be surprised that 5 million people delayed renewing or applying for a passport while the majority of the world was locked down? I know the offices of government aren’t filled with the sharpest of minds, but surely that’s a simple enough concept to grapple with?
“I mean, the five million people who delayed getting a passport are now applying for one, on top of the seven million a year that normally apply for one, so that’s going to require some extra resources, right?
“And because this issue was so entirely predictable – I mean, they literally furloughed a couple of thousand passport staff while passports continued to expire during lockdown – I’m guessing the government has given extra funds to the Passport Office to ensure they could meet all this extra time-critical demand?
“Oh, they cut their budget? Well, yes, that makes sense for a Tory government I suppose.
“But now that they can see the issues that were entirely predictable to anyone capable of rational thought they are going to spend the money to fix the backlog, right?
“Oh, they’re threatening to privatise them. I suppose that could work too.”