Home Office minister Damian Green has revealed a total of £292m was spent on developing national identity cards.
Between 2003 and 2006, the Home Office spent a total of £41m developing the policy, legislation and business case for the introduction of the cards.
Responsibility for the project was passed onto the Identity and Passport Service after its establishment in April 2006. Between then and March 2010, the service spent £251m on projects to establish identity cards, biometric passports and other related programmes.
The figures were revealed in response to a written parliamentary question from Conservative MP Richard Harrington.