Home Office could raise visa fees to offset police cuts

Home Office could raise visa fees to offset police cuts

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The Home Office is considering increasing visa fees ?to offset cuts to the police budget as part of the government spending review to be announced this week.

Home secretary Theresa May “has identified visa charges as a significant income route”?, according to the Financial Times.

The news will alarm leaders of the inbound tourism sector who have lobbied hard for the visa system to be simplified and made less costly.

The government? announced a reduction in visa costs for visitors from China only last month.

Britain enjoyed a record year for inbound visitors last year and looks poised to set a new record this year.

The Home Office raises more than £1 billion a year in visa charges on tourists, students and business visitors.

However, it faces budget cuts of 20%-30%? over the next five years, as do other government departments.

The Financial Times reports that May believes visa charges can rise “without impacting business travel or the number of students”.

Chancellor George Osborne has already agreed cuts at the Treasury, Department for Transport and environment department, according to reports.

The results of the spending review will be announced on Wednesday.


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