Reid announces rising ID card costs while Blair takes the spotlight

The government says the estimated cost of introducing ID cards has risen by a further £400m, to £5.31bn.

The government says the estimated cost of introducing ID cards has risen by a further £400m, to £5.31bn.

A Home Office report presented to parliament yesterday has outlined the latest estimated costs.

Opposition parties have accused the government of trying to bury bad news by delaying the latest estimates to the day of the prime minister’s resignation.

The latest sixth month estimate, ordered by parliament, was a month late coming. The Home Office said the delay in publishing the figures to Blair’s resignation day was co-incidental.

Analysts had previously predicted that the costs of introducing ID cards could eventually reach the levels spent on the NHS National Programme for IT - £12.4bn.

The Home Office says the extra costs are down to increased staffing costs and anti-fraud measures integrated into the scheme.

The £5.31bn cost covers the period from 2006 to 2016.
ID cards are not due to become compulsory until 2010 at the earliest.

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