Feeds

ToryDems stoke ID card 'bonfire'

Terminate ID commssioner and temps

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Home Secretary Theresa May outlined the mechanics of scrapping the ID register yesterday as the bill to scrap the programme moved through the Commons.

Speaking at the second reading of the Bill to scrap the scheme, May said the scheme "represents the worst of government. It is intrusive and bullying, ineffective and expensive. It is an assault on individual liberty which does not promise a greater good.

"We have no hesitation in making the national identity card scheme an unfortunate footnote in history. There it should remain - a reminder of a less happy time when the Government allowed hubris to trump civil liberties."

For added spice she said that one month after Royal Assent, individuals will not be able to use their cards to prove their ID.

Asked by David Blunkett if this meant it would be illegal to use the cards, she said "I did not use the word 'illegal', except in relation to those who possess equipment for falsifying documents. I trust that, as a former Home Secretary, the right hon. gentleman is not intending to hold equipment for the falsification of documents."

More tangibly, she said scrapping the plan would save £86m over the next four years, and £800m over the next decade. The "net cost" of the bill will be £5m this year covering termination of contracts, contacting card holders, and laying off staff that can't redeployed.

"The post of Identity Commissioner will be abolished," she said. "The public panels and experts groups that were established by the Identity and Passport Service have already been disbanded, and 60 temporary staff in Durham have already been released early."

All information in the National Identity Register will be destroyed within two months of Royal Assent.

"Photographs and fingerprint biometrics will be securely destroyed. This will not be a literal bonfire of the last Government's vanities, but it will none the less be deeply satisfying. The national identity register will then cease to exist entirely."

Alan Johnson, the last Labour Home Secretary, described May's figures as "utter fantasy".

"By cancelling the scheme, the Government remove the income stream but leave the cancellation costs, which the taxpayer will be forced to pay, and let us not forget the continuing cost to the economy of fraud, abuse of the NHS, illegal immigration and unauthorised working," he said.

"The Government will make not a saving, but a substantial loss."

May also rejected any suggestion that the government was being inconsistent by keeping ID cards for foreign nationals, saying the previous government had only rolled that programme into the National ID scheme to bolster it. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter
You'd better not be talking about the council's housing plans
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
Adam Afriyie MP: Smart meters are NOT so smart
Mega-costly gas 'n' 'leccy totting-up tech not worth it - Tory MP
Yes, Australia's government SHOULD store comms metadata
Not because it's a good idea but because it already operates the infrastructure and processes to do it well
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.