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Cost of ID cards rises to £5.31 billion

May 17, 2007 12:00 PM

Andrew Simpson has accused the government of attempting to bury the news that the cost of ID cards has risen by £400 million in the last 6 months.

News that the total cost of introducing ID cards would rise to £5.31 billion was announced on 10th May, the day Tony Blair made public the date of his resignation.

Estimates compiled by the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives, however, put the projected cost at £5.5 billion over the next 10 years. The rising cost has been largely attributed to the cost of extra staff to administer the scheme.

Andrew said:

"The astronomical rise in cost, £40 million every year for the next 10 years, is totally ludicrous and unjustifiable.

"It seems to me that this money should instead be spent on providing extra police and better public services. Given the fiasco that has recently emerged over the recruitment of junior doctors I am extremely skeptical that this government can be trusted with people's personal data or major IT projects.

"To add insult to injury, the government cynically used Tony Blair's departure announcement to bury the bad news. The government is legally bound to provide financial reports on the cost of the scheme every 6 months. In this instance it was a month late, which seems rather too convenient given the huge rise in cost they had to report."

For more information about the Liberal Democrats' campaign against ID cards go to: http://www.libdems.org.uk/noidcards/