Cost of ID card scheme revealed

The government has revealed that the cost of the controversial ID card scheme will be £5.4 million over the next ten years.

It is the first time that a figure for the total cost of the project, including all the set-up and operational costs of the scheme, has been released.

Around 70% of the costs would be incurred in the issuing of new generation biometric passports - incorporating fingerprints as well as facial images - while another 15% would relate to technology with the vast majority of estimated costs relating to the people and premises necessary to interview passport and ID card applicants, detecting and deterring fraudulent applications.

Home Officer Minister Liam Byrne said: "ID cards will give us a powerful tool to combat identity fraud which underpins organised crime, terrorism and abuse of the immigration system.

"ID cards will also help transform the delivery of public services to the citizen, making interactions swifter, more reliable and more secure and helping to reduce costs by eliminating wasteful duplication of effort."

Mr Byrne said that the cards would be introduced rapidly, beginning with the introduction of biometric cards, including fingerprints and facial images, for foreign nationals, in 2008. He also said that illegal working would become far more difficult as the scheme got underway.

However, the Conservatives have called for the money to be invested in a new prison building programme instead. Shadow Home Secretary David Davis said: "The Home Office has an absolutely appalling record for delivering IT based projects on time and budget. Independent experts have predicted this plastic poll tax will in fact cost nearly £20 billion. Some of this money could be spent on a much needed prison building program."


Related UK National News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

22 August 2013
Customers To Be Reimbursed Following Mis-Sold CPP Card Protection
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has reached an agreement with Card Protection Plan Limited (CPP) and 13 high street banks and credit card issuers, that will pave the way for redress to be paid to customers who were mis-sold CPP's Card Protection and Identity Protection policies.
14 October 2005
ID cards to cost £30
A stand-alone identity card will cost £30, Home Secretary Charles Clarke has announced. However, a combined passport and ID card is currently estimated to cost £93. Announcing the ID card cost in Parliament, Mr Clarke said: “No-one who wants to protect their identity need pay more.
27 June 2005
Blair defends ID card plans
Prime Minister Tony Blair has defended his plans to introduce identity cards, saying that the cards were “an idea whose time had come”. Speaking at a press conference today, Mr Blair urged the public to keep “an open mind” on the legislation and said that there was “plenty of time for this debate to develop”.
30 July 2004
MPs critical of muddled ID card scheme
The government's ID card policy is in a muddle and the public, whilst supportive in principle, has "little enthusiasm" for paying the kind of fees being suggested, according to a powerful committee of MPs.
08 October 2003
M&S backtracks over &More credit card after OFT probe
Marks and Spencer Financial Services (MSFS) has changed the way it will offer to replace its store cards by the &More credit card after action by the Office of Fair Trading. MSFS had sent out letters to many card holders saying that its store card would automatically be replaced by the &More credit card unless card holders objected.