Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/395/4482
From The Socialist newspaper, 2 June 2005
ID cards: £300 for a snooper's card!
THE GOVERNMENT'S plans for compulsory identity (ID) cards are an
attack on our democratic rights. The scheme could lead to more
harassment of innocent people, more snooping by state authorities and
more rationing of public services.
But the problem that could possibly bring these plans tumbling to the
ground, for a while at least, is the cost. Last week the government
estimated that an ID card could cost £88. That was on the basis of a
total expense for the ID scheme of £5.5 billion.
During the week, the cost of both the scheme and the cards showed an
inflation rate that would have lost Gordon Brown his job if it had
happened in the economy as a whole.
The price went up to £100, then to an incredible £300 per person.
That last figure was based on an LSE report that said the scheme's true
cost would be between £12 billion and £18 billion, three times as high
as previously thought.
If the government still insists that the ID scheme should be
self-financing, the average cost of a card could be as high as £300 for
The report also says that the biometric card-readers needed to scan
these cards could cost £3,000 to £4,000 per unit, (the government
thought they'd cost £250-£750).
The report's writers also think the government underestimate the cost
of re-scanning every five years and of keeping tabs on changing
circumstances. And, the researchers ask, what about 'refuseniks'? Plenty
of people will refuse to waste good money on a worthless scheme that is
more likely to increase 'identity crime' - through a spiralling market
in forgeries - than to stop it.
Home Secretary Charles Clarke may try to bring in changes to make ID
cards less unpalatable. But the scheme's astronomical cost could prove
its biggest weakness.
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In The Socialist 2 June 2005:
Say no to the bosses' profit system
EU constitution defeated
Why French workers voted 'no' to EU referendum
Defend adult education
ID cards: £300 for a snooper's card!
The campaign for Socialism 2005 begins now
Capitalism can't solve AIDS crisis
"Struggle or death" - Pakistan telecoms workers fight privatisation
Germany: Political turmoil after the elections
Iraq: coalition plans floundering
Labour court awards Gama workers €8,000
Striking back at pay-cutting bosses
BBC offer must be rejected
It is privatisation and it is as we know it
Coventry single status dispute: the stakes are raised
FE lecturers fight for pay deal
Job losses expose Manchester's 'boom'
The Socialist 2 June 2005 |
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