The House of Lords is threatening to de-rail the government’s planned ID card plans, after voting against a bill last night that does not include the exact costs of the scheme.
It was previously estimated by the London School of Economics that the ID card scheme could cost over £19bn to implement, with the government saying it would probably cost no more than half that.
But without a figure to vote on, the Lords are refusing to budge and have sent the bill back to the House of Commons.
Last summer, the LSE said the government’s national ID card scheme could cost up to £19.2bn to implement – more than twice the government’s current estimate.
The LSE says each card could cost up to £230 to issue.
The government says its current ID card scheme will see the public having to pay around £93 each for a card.
The LSE says the lowest cost of the government’s plans would be £10.6bn without any cost over-runs or implementation problems, but “key uncertainties” mean the cost could rise to £19.2bn.
The LSE’s figures were published after a six-month study into the proposed ID scheme. A new report from the LSE, however, says the costs could be even greater and slams the government’s secrecy over the financial arrangements for the ID card scheme.
The government says that, as it is about to enter a tendering stage for the cards, it cannot put out full financial information.