The growing translation bill makes a mockery of the Government’s pledge that migrants wanting to settle in the UK must demonstrate a command of the language.
By the time newcomers are applying for a passport they will have already passed a citizenship test and are supposed to at least be able to answer basic questions.
But translators are still needed for some when they attend the new face-to-face interviews, designed to question applicants and cut down on identity fraud or bogus claims.
More than a quarter of a million pounds was spent on such services by the Identity and Passport Service (IPS) last year.
Matthew Elliott, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “It is absurd that interpreters are being provided for people who the rules say must be able to speak English to qualify for a passport.
“This suggests that the Government’s pledge to make sure a passport was conditional on being able to speak the language and integrate is simply hot air – leaving taxpayers to pick up the bill.
“We must have proper control of migration and citizenship, but the authorities seem more interested in talking tough and then leaving taxpayers to pay the price.”
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