The UK government has announced plans to increase the cost of most passports, with postal applications rising particularly steeply.

The changes – set to come into effect on March 27 providing they are approved by Parliament – will see the cost of a standard adult passport applied for by post rise from £72.50 to £85, an increase of 17 per cent.

Postal applications for child passports will increase from £46 to £58.50, a hike of 27 per cent.

But it’s not all bad news – the rise in fees for online applications will be much smaller. An adult online application will increase by just £3, from £72.50 to £75.50, and online applications for the larger 48-page passports will see fees frozen at £85.50.

The Home Office said that the proposed changes were “part of its push to increase the use of online services and its ambition to create a self-sustainable immigration and borders system”.

It also stresses that “Adults choosing to apply online would still be paying less than they would have in 2009, with passport fees having decreased in 2012”.

According to a press release the proposals, which are part of plans to invest £100 million on border security and infrastructure next year, “would mean the money collected through fees will contribute to the cost of processing British passport holders as they travel in and out of the country, shifting the burden for paying for these services away from the taxpayer – millions of whom do not currently hold passports”.

The Home Office also added that the new fees “are unrelated to the announcement that the colour of the UK passport will be changing in 2019, which will be delivered at no additional cost”.