Today in Senate Estimates the Albanese Labor Government confirmed they had no shame in slogging Australians a further 15 per cent for their passports and making the Australian passport the world’s most expensive, as part of a $349 million backdoor tax grab.

From 1 July, Labor will have twice hiked up the price of passports for Australians this year, with a standard adult passport going up from $325 at the start of 2024, to $346 when standard indexation was applied in January, and to $398 on 1 July after Labor’s extra 15 per cent tax. That’s a total increase of 22.5 per cent.

Independent analysis found that after the January price hike, Australian passports were the second most expensive in the world, just behind Mexico.

Anthony Albanese’s new 15 per cent passport tax will make the Australian passport the most expensive in the world at $398, ahead of Mexico at $346 and the United States at a comparatively modest $252 AUD.

Foreign Minister Penny Wong and her officials confirmed that Labor’s 15 per cent price slug was all just extra tax and had nothing to do with the actual cost of providing a passport.

Adding insult to injury during a cost-of-living crisis Australians are paying more for their passports under Labor in return for a woefully inefficient service.

A report released by the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) on the Australian Passport Office revealed that passport processing per FTE is 56 per cent lower than pre-pandemic levels.

The Albanese Government shows no remorse for increasing passport fees to the most expensive in the world as a backdoor tax grab that will cost taxpayers an extra $349 million.

Under Labor Australians are waiting longer and paying record sums for the privilege of a passport that should be a basic entitlement not an expensive luxury.

Foreign Affairs officials even conceded there was a risk that the high costs may see dual nationals choose to travel on passports other than their Australian one, which makes providing consular assistance even more difficult in times of trouble.

Statements by the Treasurer and Foreign Minister calling this passport tax grab a “modest” and “reasonable” change show just how out of touch Labor is during a cost-of-living crunch.