Feeds

'Lunatic' Smith doubles ID card costs for Mancunians

Voluntary rollout addresses vexed 'who am I?' question

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith today confirmed that Manchester volunteers will be allowed to pay a total of £60 for an ID card from later this year. The price tag on the ID card will remain £30, but the Home Office is now estimating the cost of biometric enrollment, payable to the high street stores it hopes to recruit, as a further £30.

And in other news, Smith was described as a "lunatic" by banned US shock jock Michael Savage, now threatening to sue Smith for defamation, and as dead meat by the Sun, which reckons she'll be out of a job any minute now. Or possibly already - busy day, Jacqui.

Even the Home Office concedes that "only a small number of volunteers in Manchester" will be able to enrol for an ID card before the end of the year, and while this is scheduled to happen "from Autumn 2009", the National Identity Service Cost Report, published today, reports that contracts for passport design and production and card design and production are to be awarded "later in 2009".

Nor, despite interest from photographic stores, the National Pharmacy Association and the Post Office, have any High Street partners been signed up yet, far less started rolling out biometric enrollment equipment.

So, small publicity stunt, not many issued? Getting at least some ID cards into the hands of Mancunians will however have some effect in locking the ID card scheme into the system prior to next year's general election. The Home Office also seems to have been relatively successful in convincing sections of the press that much of the claimed cost of ID cards will have to be spent on upgrading to the next generation of biometric passports anyway (£3.95 billion claimed for this), leaving just £1.19 billion specifically being spent on ID cards available for cutting by any incoming Tory administration.

To some extent, this is true, as contracts for the enrollment system and biometric database covering both passports and ID cards have already been awarded, to CSC and IBM. Speaking on the Today programme this morning, however Dr Edgar Whitley of the LSE commented that the addition of fingerprints to passports was not, as the Home Office frequently claims, an international obligation but a political decision. The cost of this would however remain if a Tory government did not cancel fingerprints for passports. And if it didn't also move to dismantle the database or bring it under control, it might find itself cancelling little more than the plastic (and agreeing with David Blunkett, effectively).

Today's Cost Report also only covers cost to the Home Office, not ID-related costs to other government departments, businesses and to citizens (e.g that extra £30 and the spiralling cost of a passport). It also only covers forward costs, excluding an estimated £250 million already spent. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
UK.gov pushes for SWIFT ACTION against nuisance calls, threatens £500k fines
DCMS seeks lowering of legal threshold to fight rogue firms
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
Hungary's internet tax cannot be allowed to set a precedent, says EC
More protests planned against giga-tariff for Tuesday evening
US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'
Netizens allegedly duped into paying for bogus tech advice
ISPs handbagged: BLOCK knock-off sites, rules beak
Historic trademark victory, but sunset clause applies to future blocks
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
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.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
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.
How to simplify SSL certificate management
Simple steps to take control of SSL certificates across the enterprise, and recommendations centralizing certificate management throughout their lifecycle.