Feeds

Johnson: ID cards will pay for themselves

'Absolute nonsense' - Huhne

Top three mobile application threats

The home secretary has said that the identity scheme's budget will be recouped through charging the public for the cards.

Speaking during a crime debate on BBC Daily Politics programme on 20 April 2010, Alan Johnson said scrapping the identity card scheme at this stage would be counterproductive and a "waste".

"The money all comes back because we charge for ID cards. If we stop now you've wasted all the capital investment and you get no money back because we will charge for the ID card," said Johnson.

He was referring to Conservative and Liberal Democrat proposals to scrap identity cards if elected. The cards are part of the National Identity Service, which will cost an estimated £5.3bn over a decade.

Shadow home secretary Chris Grayling and Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesperson Chris Huhne also participated in the debate. Johnson accused them of making false claims about there being a "big pot of money" waiting if the scheme were to be dropped. Huhne labelled Johnson's claims "absolute nonsense".

"The reality is the government has made ID cards voluntary. It needs something like 13 million people to sign up to ID cards in order to cover the costs Alan Johnson is talking about and it's on course to get about 3,000," said Huhne.

"The Home Office is going to have to pick up the remainder of the tab and if we scrap the whole scheme there will be substantial savings," he added.

The Lib Dems revealed in its manifesto that as well as scrapping ID cards, it would also abandon the next generation of biometric passports. These will add 10 fingerprints to the photos already stored on chips and government databases.

Identity cards were first introduced for foreign nationals living in Britain in November 2008, but cards are now available to UK citizens living in the north west of England on a voluntary basis. The scheme expanded to London in February, where cards are now available to 16 to 24-year-olds.

This article was originally published at Kable.

Kable's GC weekly is a free email newsletter covering the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. To register click here.

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Whoever you vote for, Google gets in
Report uncovers giant octopus squid of lobbying influence
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Banks slap Olympus with £160 MEEELLION lawsuit
Scandal hit camera maker just can't shake off its past
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.