Feeds

Blair under fire on ID cards

Tory leader attacks cost of ID cards scheme

3 Big data security analytics techniques

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.

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
Sorry London, Europe's top tech city is Munich
New 'Atlas of ICT Activity' finds innovation isn't happening at Silicon Roundabout
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.