More on ID Card Costs

No2ID has another article on rapidly climbing ID card costs, this time comparing the latest estimate with the price originally quoted.

Press reports of yesterday’s 6-month Dobson report focus on its timing. Philip Johnston writes in The Daily Telegraph:

The soaring cost of Tony Blair’s ID card project was divulged by the Home Office yesterday under cover of his resignation statement.

Estimates that should have been published by law last month were timed to coincide with the media jamboree surrounding Mr Blair’s farewell.

Costs have risen by £840 million to £5.55 billion - some £2.4 billion higher than when the Government floated the idea in 2004.

Providing ID cards to foreign nationals will cost an additional £200 million.

The Government says much of the cost will be recouped from charges for combined biometric passports and ID cards which will be introduced next year. These are predicted to cost £93 but this may have to rise to £100 or the taxpayer will have to meet the additional expense.

The increases have come despite efforts to save money by scrapping plans for a new database. Instead the ID scheme will be bolted on to databases in Whitehall.

Other reports take a similar line:

Mirror: ID CARD TRICK - Government ‘try to bury’ shock news of scheme’s spiralling costs

Guardian: Cost of national ID card scheme soars by £840m in six months

Sun: Good day to bury bad news

Daily Mail: Ministers try to hide £500m rise in ID cards

Independent: Reid accused of ‘burying bad news’ on release of ID card costs

… and many others.