ID cards scheme has cost nearly £50m

ID cards scheme has cost nearly £50m

Summary: The Government has revealed the huge expense so far of the controversial project

TOPICS: Networking

The Government has revealed it has spent almost £50m on the controversial ID cards scheme before the project is even off the ground.

In a written answer to a parliamentary question by Liberal Democrat MP Lembit Öpik, the Home Office said £46.4m had been spent on the ID cards scheme up to the end of May 2006 since the start of the financial year 2003/2004.

Öpik called it a "catastrophic waste of taxpayers' money" and said the £46.4m spent to date could have been better used to pay for more than 150 new police officers for 10 years.

He said: "This is real money wasted on an unworkable scheme which won't achieve what the Government claims."

Prime Minister Tony Blair said earlier this month ID cards will be a central plank of Labour's next election manifesto, despite delays in putting the identity cards contracts out to tender and leaked memos from a senior official at the Home Office claiming the project is heading for disaster with a lack of clear benefits to demonstrate a return on the investment.

Topic: Networking

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  • Sour Grapes from Tony? If the ID card scheme is central to the next manifesto, he knows they wont get back in, but he will be off in clover anyway. I still think the Government ministers should be forced to make up any deficit between the planned costs and the actual costs. We would not then be constantly saddled with lame brain schemes.
  • This ID card scheme should never have started in the first place and should be binned. If they are so persistant with this they won't be getting my vote!

    Firstly, they will be ineffective against crime and/or terrorism. Secondly, their main purpose will be to control the masses, which generally speaking are law abiding citizens. Criminals don't care about such things! Hand guns are illegal now but it still doesn't stop them shooting people, consequently, I can't see ID cards stopping criminals/terrorists either.
  • It's a bit like branding cattle, really. It's for the benefit of the farmer (read: government) than for the cattle (read: British population)