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National Identity Card holding chumps have buyer's remorse

Can't use it, can't get their £30 back

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He also queried the view expressed by the deputy director of policy at the Identity and Passport Service, who claimed that the ID card was not a consumer good – and therefore exempt from consumer protection law.

Putting in a plug for UK SME’s, Lord Erroll expressed scepticism about a claimed £20m needed to refund the card cost, suggesting that the government "have clearly fallen into the hands of the large systems integrators again, who are siphoning off our taxpayers' money to America".

On 17 November, the Lords voted an amendment to the Identity Documents Bill that would have required the government to pay compensation to cardholders. This was agreed on 24 November and passed across to the Commons earlier this week as part of the process known as "parliamentary ping-pong" which takes place whenever Lords and Commons cannot agree on an issue. The Commons has now appointed a Committee of MPs to look into the matter.

According to a statement from the Identity and Passport Service: "The Identity Card scheme has already cost the taxpayer millions of pounds. Combined with development work on biometric data, some £292 million has been spent on ID cards.

"The amendment to pay refunds would add a further cost to be picked up by the taxpayer.

"The Government will reverse this expensive change when the Bill returns to the Commons."

With the abolition of ID cards becoming law yesterday, Mr Hodder's suggestion is pretty much history: however, the question of whether or not to pay refunds is a quite different matter, and despite Home Office hopes to the contrary, it may yet be one that returns to bite the government, in the courts. ®

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