Deceptive rebranding covers more ID cost increases

6 May 2009

The latest ten-year cost estimate of the National Identity Scheme [1] – which specifically excludes costs to business, citizens and any part of government other than the Home Office – shows a £160 million increase in 6 months. It is a forward-looking estimate only and completely ignores the £250 million+ already spent on the scheme [2].

In the face of sustained opposition from airline unions to ID pilot schemes [3], IPS Chief Executive James Hall tried re-branding ID cards as a ‘service’ at a ‘low-key, pre-breakfast briefing’ in Manchester Central Library [4] in an attempt to encourage residents of the city to sign up early.

Phil Booth, National Coordinator of NO2ID said:

Five years in, the admitted Home Office costs are over £5 billion – and they’re suspiciously silent on fees. Anyone who registers now has been conned into signing away their privacy for life AND giving the government a blank cheque.

Guy Herbert, NO2ID General Secretary, said:

Calling ID cards a ‘service’ is shameless propaganda. There’s no other way to try to suggest the ID scheme is either useful or wanted. No one outside Whitehall and its favourite IT firms is going to benefit. But they want us to love Big Brother.

-ENDS-

Notes for editors:

1) The latest Cost Report should be available from
http://www.ips.gov.uk/identity/publications-legislative.asp

2) Costs prior to 2008 are on record, but a Parliamentary Answer on 21 April 2009 reveals IPS spent £31,923,000 on ID-related consultants in 2008 alone – almost £125,000 PER DAY:
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200809/cmhansrd/cm090421/text/90421w0016.htm

3) ‘Pilots to boycott ID trial’, Manchester Evening News, 5 May 2009:
http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/s/1113566_pilots_to_boycott_id_trial

4) ‘Jacqui Smith says ID cards could be available from high street shops’, Times, 6 May 2009:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article6229354.ece

5) NO2ID is the UK-wide non-partisan campaign against ID cards and the database state. See http://www.no2id.net/dbstate for a list of ‘database state’ initiatives that NO2ID is actively opposing, and http://www.no2id.net/datasharing for how it all fits together.