Feeds

Blair under fire on ID cards

Tory leader attacks cost of ID cards scheme

Security for virtualized datacentres

Tony Blair’s plans for a national identity card scheme could end up as being a "monument to the failure of big government", David Cameron has warned.

In PM's questions yesterday, the Tory leader attacked the proposed scheme as new research came to light suggesting it could cost more than £14bn to run.

Cameron asked the Prime Minister: "With rising deficits in the NHS, huge costs of pension reform and tighter pressures on public spending, how can the Prime Minister claim that spending at least £600m a year on his ID card scheme is a good use of public money?"

He referred to research published earlier this week by the London School of Economics, which suggested the scheme could cost between £10bn and £19bn over 10 years.

"What guarantee can the Prime Minister give that his estimates are right, whereas the London School of Economics, which talks about costs of £14.5bn - almost half the entire budget of the Department for Education & Skills - is wrong?"

Responding to the comments, Blair said the cards were needed to fight illegal immigration, crime and identity fraud.

He said the cost of the scheme would be offset by savings in other areas of government and to the costs of doing business.

And responding to the LSE research, he said: "The calculations made by the LSE, I think that I am right that, although the report was put out under the LSE’s name, it was actually written by the leading campaigner against ID cards on the grounds of civil liberties. So I do not think that it is an entirely objective assessment."

The Tory leader also cited reports that the Chancellor, Gordon Brown, is opposed to the scheme and would scrap it if he takes over from Blair as Prime Minister. "So will the Prime Minister give a guarantee that, when the Chancellor takes over his job, the scheme will continue?"

But Blair said the whole of the Labour Government was "absolutely behind" ID cards. "The Chancellor himself has provided the start-up costs," he added.

Cameron’s attack came only two days after the proposed ID scheme suffered a triple defeat in the House of Lords. The Government is now expected to try to overturn the Lords’ decision when ID cards return to the Commons.

Copyright © eGov monitor Weekly

eGov monitor Weekly is a free e-newsletter covering developments in UK eGovernment and public sector IT over the last seven days. To register go here.

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Bono apologises for iTunes album dump
Megalomania, generosity and FEAR of irrelevance drove group to Apple deal
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.