HC Deb 18 November 2003 vol 413 c841W
Mr. Lansley

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will initiate a review of the introduction of visa charges on pupils from overseas attending United Kingdom boarding schools which provides an opportunity for consultation with schools affected. [133072]

Beverley Hughes

The level of charges are set under Treasury rules to recover the full costs associated with delivering the service. Under these rules, there is a requirement for an annual fee review with which the Home Office will comply. My officials are looking at a number of issues for the future including fee structures, the possibility of differential charging and how to further improve the service.

I cannot, of course, guarantee the outcome of the fee review. However, the hon. Gentleman has my assurance that Home Office officials will engage with the DIES, British Council, UKCOSA and others to ensure that the education sector's representations are taken into account.

The principle behind charging is to ensure that those who use the service pay rather than the general taxpayer.

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