Thursday, 10 May 2007
ID Card cost increase is buried as Blair announces departure
The cost of the ID card scheme has gone up by £400m to £5.31bn. The opposition claims that the government was "burying bad news", releasing the figure as Tony Blair announced his departure.
The Home Office say the increase was due to staff and anti-fraud expenditure.
The Home Office must give an update on the costs of the scheme twice a year. The latest update, due on 9 April was announced today amid claims that the Home Office broke the law by delaying the announcement.
The Home Office said it had released the figures "as soon as we possibly could" and that the release of the figures on the same day as Mr Blair's departure announcement had been coincidental.
Shadow Home Secretary David Davis said: "The public will see through this transparent and pathetic attempt to bury bad news. It is also no surprise the government has had to revise their cost estimate up by so much. The public should brace themselves for more increases every time this estimate is updated."
Liberty Director Shami Chakrabarti said: "The soaring costs and declining support for the grand ID card folly are increasingly inescapable. Surely this dangerous and expensive idea must leave Number 10 with its author?"
Phil Booth, of NO2ID said: "With each new analysis, the cost of the ID card scheme spirals."
ID cards will become compulsory in 2010 when all passport applicants will be issued with ID cards.
How can a supposedly democratic government force upon us an ID card scheme that many of the population are against. Adding insult to injury they are using our tax money to fund an ID Card Scheme which we will be asked to pay for again later.