ID Card Costs Soar

On the No2ID site we see that the cost of ID cards has risen by another £400million.

The Press Association reports:

The projected 10-year cost of the controversial ID card scheme has risen by £400 million in the last six months, it has been revealed.

Home Office figures showed the costs over 10 years were estimated to be £5.31 billion from 2006 to 2016, compared with £4.91 billion in the last calculation.

The story helpfully reminds us:

Outgoing Home Secretary John Reid published news of the increase on the day Prime Minister Tony Blair was announcing his resignation.

Someone called Guy Herbert said:

The real sting in this is actually "The update revealed that £510 million of Foreign Office consular costs had mistakenly been included in the last update…"

Which illustrates how costs integral to the scheme are actually being discounted, as not the Home Office's problem. To get a glimpse of the real bloating of the white mammoth you have to add back the consular costs, and £200 million "incremental costs for foreign nationals extending their stay”, which takes the cost up to over £6Bn, before you notice it *doesn't* actually include any provision for the UK Borders scheme or ID registration for EU nationals over the same period (presumably because the latter can't be obliged to register until UK citizens are, and the former is claimed to be separate and freestanding, despite providing the biometric database for the main scheme).

The real declared cost is up by a billion, therefore, and the costs for all elements of the scheme, including those for which no estimates are available, are rather larger.

We know that US-VISIT, a smaller, simpler system than UK Borders, costs the American DHS around $350 million (£175 million) a year to operate. Assuming UK Borders is no worse, one should then add another £1.75Bn to the 10-year cost.

The No2ID report is here, and the original report is here