Labour Government Spent Almost £300m on ID Cards

The coalition government has said its predecessor spent just under £300m to develop the ID card and biometric passport schemes.

Home Office minister Damian Green provided the figures in response to a parliamentary question from Conservative MP Richard Harrington, reports The Register.

Green said that the Home Office had spent “£41m developing the policy, legislation and business case for the introduction of identity cards”.

In 2006, the scheme was transferred to the newly created Identity and Passport service, which spent another “£251m on projects to establish identity cards, second biometric passports and other related programmes”.

Home Secretary Theresa May said last week that scrapping the plan would save £86m over the next four years, and £800m over the next decade. The net cost of the bill will be £5m this year covering termination of contracts, contacting card holders and laying off staff that can’t redeployed.