back to article Johnson: ID cards will pay for themselves

The home secretary has said that the identity scheme's budget will be recouped through charging the public for the cards. Speaking during a crime debate on BBC Daily Politics programme on 20 April 2010, Alan Johnson said scrapping the identity card scheme at this stage would be counterproductive and a "waste". "The money all …


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  1. JimmyPage

    If he thinks *I* will pay for an ID card...

    he is sadly mistaken.

    Alan Johnson and zanuLabour can FRO.

  2. Michael 36

    ID cards will pay for themselves

    The home secretary has said that the identity scheme's budget will be recouped through charging the public for the cards.

    Just a tax then.

    Perhaps somebody should point out to the Government the difference between income and taxation?

  3. Anonymous Coward


    Recoup money from public? We don't (or even asked) for the ID card. Why the f**k should I be made to pay for something I don't want?

    Johnson is an idiot. Get Labour out and away from all this crap.

  4. SuperTim

    they will.....

    but it will cost about £200 a card!

  5. Ted Treen
    Big Brother


    EVERYTHING these cretins propose and enact is funded by making the public (aka taxpayers) pay for it.

    So what's different?

  6. Graham Marsden

    "If we stop now you've wasted all the capital investment"

    In other words, as many people have been saying all along, Labour have bulled ahead with this project so that, having spent huge amounts of public money, they can claim that anyone trying to cancel the project will be "wasting" that dosh.

    Well, no, Mr Johnson, it is *YOU* who have wasted that money, it is *YOU* who have pissed it away on an unworkable control-freak project that has been doomed to failure from the start, don't start trying to put the blame on others now.

    1. Bayleaf
      Thumb Up

      Too true

      You have said it all here.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    no thanks

    And if i refuse to pay? or am unable to? if they start charging something stupid like £70-£80 as ive heard then they can shove it to be honest.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      More to the point...

      ...what will the penalties be for refusing? And - make no mistake - there WILL be penalties sooner or later.

      Indirect at first - exclusion from services, etc. But sooner or later they'll feel morally obliged to use a big stick on those anti-social elements who refuse to see that it's all in their own best interests.

  8. LinkOfHyrule

    Rebrand ID cards...

    ...As Northerner cards! (and maybe call the ones for the young Londoners 'I can't get served in pubs' cards)

    1. BongoJoe
      Big Brother

      Buy shares in Wimpey

      I would imagine that the Government would have to start to build an awful lot of new prisons for those who refuse to have, or even buy, an ID Card.

      My mother, in her late eighties, remembers the cards from the last time around and has vowed to rot away spending her final days in jail rather than to have an ID Card. I won't be visiting her as I will be in clink up the road.

  9. Elmer Phud

    Last Resort

    "Alan Johnson said scrapping the identity card scheme at this stage would be counterproductive and a "waste".

    That's it is it?

    Johnson (great name, suits him) has run out of excuses and now relies on the 'But it cost so much' to try and justify the scheme.

    I still don't believe that a national ID scheme won't be foisted on us by the other two - they will find a need to register 'aliens' (The Alien Registration office in Holborn always amused me) to 'protect' the benefits system' and 'assist police in catching criminals' (what ever happened to Yardies and Euro-Crooks?). They are merely trying to distance themselves following the protests but as soon asthe fuss dies down it will come back relabelled and repackaged as something to 'protect honest UK citizens' or some such bollocks.

    1. hplasm

      In other news-

      Gordon Brown said scrapping the Triumphant Nu-Labour Govenment at this stage would be counterproductive and a "waste".


      Go means 'Go'

  10. The BigYin

    In summary

    "The idea is bollocks, but we've given so much to our friends...err...spent so much on consulting that we will press on.

    'Sunk cost'? Never heard of it. Is it relevant? Bloody impertinence, interrupting like that...

    Well, anyway; so much has been blown on this that is it like a bank - too big to fail. It's not our money anyway...well, it is now due to the lucrative perks we've all been getting from our new friends; but again is that relevant?

    Where was I? Oh yes. Not our money. We spent the taxpayer's money and we are going to get those idiots spend it again by getting them to pay for something they've already paid for.

    Will it lower fraud, stop terrorism, cut rape levels? It will do, and I would like to point to the squillions we ave spunked on it as proof of that. People will be able to sleep soundly as they know there's no point in robbing them. They're either now too poor from buying ID cards, or too poor due to a cock up it with the database. can cut that last bit.

    What do you mean it's live? Shut it off! SHUT IT OFF!"

  11. Alpha Tony

    You know...

    ... I think it is time we brought back 'tar and feathering'.

  12. Bear Features

    of course

    We will have them, no matter what. The other EU countries have them so "of course" we have to have them too. There can't be a country called 'Europe' with everybody doing different things now can there.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    So the ID card scheme will pay for itself by charging the cardholders for the cards.


    I'm going for a lie down in a darkened room.

  14. PsychicMonkey

    So what he is saying...

    is that instead of the tax payer paying for them through tax, we'll pay for them by buying them.....

    that'll work......

  15. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    You won't scrap the car and DB without scrapping the government.

    Fortunately that wont be difficult.

    15 days to go.

    BTW Anyone put in an FOI request on how long the chips on these passports are meant to last.. Only I don't think they are good for the full 10 (or is it 25) years of the paper wrapping they will be inside.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Johnson: ID cards will pay for themselves

    Thereby proving that Johnson is a complete idiot.

  17. H2Nick

    Shock ! Horror ! Hold the front page Postman not very numerate

    As soon as you see "self funding" anywhere, you know you will either be paying for something useless (like ID cards) or paying for something previously paid for out of general taxation.

  18. Wokstation

    You can't undo our scheme, you can't!

    It'll be, like, expensive! We've obligated you into spending money whether you scrap it or not, so if you scrap it, you'll be wasting money! Hardly a governmental thing to do, eh?

    Yeah, right. Dirty trick.

  19. Tom Adair

    pay through the nose

    So either the general public pay for the scheme through their taxes, or the general public pay for the scheme by signing up themselves and 'volunteering' their life to the government? What a choice, and further indication that government ministers are so out of touch they think the Treasury prints its own money if they need it for a white elephant, rather than it actually having to come from ordinary people!

  20. Anonymous Coward


    Can we have an image of a singular breast or of a small bird please?

    Vote libdem to play a practical joke on every politician.

    1. Ted Treen


      Vote UKIP for a joke on every Europe/Unelected Committee loving politician, and if sufficient do so, we just might have a country worth staying in...

  21. BoldMan


    So essentially what he is saying is that since we the taxpaying public pay for this thing twice over (first in taxes, then in fees for getting the card) then its not a "waste"? For gods sake this just means its DOUBLY wasteful!

    Please whoever is in this idiots constituency PLEASE PLEASE vote him out of government!!!

  22. Paul 25

    A curious use of the phrase "pay for itself"

    No Mr Johnson, it will not pay for itself

    We will pay for it.

    It's "voluntary"? Yeah right, try getting by without one in ten years time when every government agency will demand it if you want to do anything.

    If everyone (or most people) in the country have to pay the government then it's a tax, one way or the other.

    "Paying for itself" would indicate that the savings from using it will outweigh the cost. E.g. "This new car will pay for itself in five years through improved fuel efficiency".

    Johnson is one of the (numerous) reasons I will not be voting Labour.

  23. It wasnt me

    That guy is an idiot

    The scheme is self financing, cost the public pays for the cards.

    Right, and the NHS is self financing cos the public pays taxes.

    Fucking idiot.

    1. Ted Treen
      Thumb Up

      Well said, old lad.

      "Fucking idiot."

      Brief, apt, and captures Johnson perfectly. To a tee.

  24. blackworx

    Oh Dear

    "The money all comes back because we charge for ID cards. If we stop now you've wasted all the capital investment and you get no money back because we will charge for the ID card,"

    Happily, that is the single most convincing argument I've ever heard in support of ID cards/NIR.

  25. Kerberos


    So the public paid billions for the first part of this stupid scheme, and now it's silly to cancel it because it's going to pay for itself by, you guessed it, the public forking over yet more money.

    Send this idiot back to the school system that obviously failed him.

  26. Chemist

    Cheeky S*d

    "The money all comes back because we charge for ID cards"

    So we have wasted your money unless we are allowed to charge you - at which point, of course, you will (effectively) waste your money on something you don't actual need.

    Politician != logic

  27. richm

    Only 10 fingerprints in Norfolk

    Only 10 fingerprints in Norfolk, the rest of the country presumably will have 8 fingerprints and 2 thumbprints.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What an idiot

    Alan Johnson is such an idiot.

    If "free" ID cards are paid for by the Government that is in fact paid for by us - the taxpayer

    And of ID Cards are charged to the public at the point of use they are also not 'free'. Guess what the same taxpayers have to pay out of thier own pockets, plus a lump to cover all those disadvantaged and fee exempt groups.

    Only in the minds of a politician can any of this crap be free, or even cost neutral. Whichever way you cut it the Government are pissing billions of pounds of my money up the wall on this project. However they choose to rob me - the taxpayer - to pay for it is actually irrelevant.

    Johnson should have stayed a postman. That's his intellectual limit.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    I think UK politicians think that there are infinite monies in circulation at any one time.

    Of course money in circulation is terribly finite and taking a slice out of that has impact on the dosh in circulation. In other words it is a tax but by a different name.

    To Labour: no more of this 1984 doublespeak please. No wonder Nick Clegg and colleagues are attracting attention with apparently increasing charm and vigour.

    (Should Labour return to government I hope this chap is swiftly disrobed of ministerial powers.)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      If Labour are returned to government... or the other of us will be 'disrobed'. I for one will be trying on for size a new raison d'être.

  30. Tom 35

    charging the public for the cards...

    The cards will pay for themselves? Is he daft? The public will pay for the cards, taxes, fees, or paying for a card... it's all the same thing. The money is coming out of the public's pocket, the cards don't pay anything!

    The only way the cards could pay for themselves would be if they saved as much money in other areas as they cost, and there is NO chance of that.

  31. Andrew Taylor
    Thumb Down


    So it won't cost the taxpayer anything because taxpayers will willingly pay for them themselves. Hmm, slight flaw in the argument there I think.

  32. Markus Wallett

    Johnson+position on QinetiQ board

    One thing politicians are excellent at is wasting billions by starting projects as "capital investments," which are essentially gravy trains dreamed up by multinationals and their lobbyist footsoldiers to suck up a once bottomless pit of taxpayer's money. If Johnson wants the ID card scheme to continue, then he can always finance it personally.

  33. Stef 4

    How much?

    £5.3 Billion over a decade...

    Exactly how much are these cards going to cost?

  34. Anonymous Coward

    It says a title is required

    So if I have this correct, th is no longer about any security benefit in going ahead with these accursed things, it's about giving money to a contractor and then "taxing" the already hard pressed electorate further. Excellent G&T's all round......

    Fuck off ID cards, Johnson and the horse they all rode in on.

  35. Ball boy

    Beg your pardon?

    "If we stop now you've wasted all the capital investment" - so we can assume that Johnson will be pushing to restart the investment in the NHS IT (12 Billion and still counting), will he?

    The ID system is flawed from the outset (using existing passports as their 'core' data, for example) and will be as big a flop as the NHS system was predicted to be - government simply can't run projects this size, partly because no one is in a position of responsibility for long enough - and when it does start to smell and look remarkably like a lemon, the department head finds the nearest revolving door and gets a safe position on the board of some Corporation that needs the ear of Government.

    Please, everyone: stop these people before it's too late. Our way of life is at stake here and, while we can't control things like the unplesant weather we get in the UK sometimes, we *can* control who's responsible for policy and spending.

    Epic fail.

  36. Anonymous Coward

    If they'll pay for themselves

    why bother charging?

    Oh, I see. He means that WE will pay for them.

    Alan, do us all a favour and piss off.

  37. Iain 4

    Well, he's sort of right

    Johnson is correct on one aspect. Neither the Lib Dems nor the Conservatives can recoup £5Bn of budget by scrapping the cards.

    Partly because Labour have ensured that the current contracts pay out to their mates at EDS and Capita whether a product is delivered or not, but mainly because the money isn't allocated - 'all' you achieve by scrapping the cards is closing up a £5Bn black hole in Home Office finances, not reduce the planned budget by that.

  38. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    Go, Alan, Go!

    We need more of this kind of explanations just before the elections! Make sure only absolute numpties and those sitting on benefits vote for Labour.

  39. Maurice Shakeshaft

    Revealed, at last.

    ID Cards will be mandatory.

    There is no way, without effective compulsion, that the ID card and NID can be made to be consumer cost neutral. It should be called an "ID Tax" not and ID Card. The compulsion will come in the form of denial of access to public and private services. Public services you pay, and have paid, for through your taxes and private services that you need to live such as bank account access.

    I look forward to some honesty from the Conservative and New Labour politicians now. I'm ever the optimist.

    It is very hard for me to say this but ID Cards and The NIDB may be why I change my vote on 5 May.

  40. scrubber

    Pay for itself?

    Either the government pays or we do....

    Do they not realise everything the government 'pays' for is actually paid by us anyway?

    This is the mindset people get into when they have been in government too long.

    Get shot of them!

  41. Ken 16

    No, no - not your OWN card

    You'll only have to pay for the extra cards in other peoples names - a pub distribution list is being set up now and they'll be priced to allow resale at a profit.

  42. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Rt. Hon. Addict MP

    Perhaps Johnson should be talking to Gamblers Anonymous - I'm sure they've had much experience in the, "I've thrown so much money away that I cannot do anything but keep throwing money away in the hope I recoup my losses", excuses.

    In fact, Neu Labour seemingly has all the hallmarks of addicts or mental derangement; they get some 'bright idea' into their heads then bulldoze it through, ignoring opposition, all the while claiming what they do is best for everyone. Even when they can see it's wrong or won't work they still insist on carrying through to the bitter end (which for them will hopefully will be just a few week's time).

    1. Ashley Stevens

      Civil service

      As much as I hate New Labour I think it's actually the civil service that are hell bent on ID cards and we can't vote them out.

  43. Scott 19

    New tach

    Its new from the ivory tower lot if its cost lots of money once the projects started lets not stop it cause its a waste of money.

    My logical senses tell me if you didn't start these stupid projects you'd save even more money but why worry when its the 9 to 5 lot that have to pay for it.

    MP's wasting your money in ways you wouldn't get in Hollywood.

  44. Ian Halstead

    When my beer...

    ... starts paying for itself, I might think again about ID cards. Not until.

    PS there's an avenue for a bribe there if anyone's listening. (And they probably are).

  45. JP19

    Get ready for 5 more years of this BS, people!

    Maybe there'll be a revolution? Nah that wouldn't be British.

  46. Hollerith 1

    Reminds me of some project managers I know...

    "We've spent so much already, we mustn't end the project or it will all go to waste!" So we throw yet more millions into the void.

    When in a hole, stop digging.

  47. Velv
    Big Brother

    You will pay for it

    If Labour get back in, you will be forced to pay - they'll make the cards compulsory, or part of the Passport or Driving License application (despite any previous statement to the contrary).

    I'm not saying I support this - joust pointing out what happens if you have the same group of idiots in charge for too long (and that is *any* group of idiots, not just the current shambles).

    It's about time the (senior) staff in Government departments were on limited time terms too - just look at who actually calls the shots - is it the Ministers or is it the Permanent Secretaries (Sir Humphrey Appleby, et al)

    1. N2 Silver badge

      Not me

      Ill be long gone, thank you.

      Those who remain are most welcome to pick up the tab for another 5 years utter madness.

      And dont for one second think the Lib Dems have an answer, if you want to get rid of Gordon Clown and his collection of muppets, then you have to vote for Mr Cameron.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Same old, same old

        Peddle the same old story, some of it will stick.

        Cameron won't win.

        Clegg won't win.

        Brown potentiall could, but won't win.

        You should vote for what you believe in.

        Don't support a voting system that benefits the current government - by not voting for a party that really does want to abolish the First Past the Post system, it'll strenghten the arguments of the other parties.

        We've got to get off this Conservative / Labour roundabout.

      2. Andy Enderby 1

        I assume.....

        .....that you are old enough to remember what that bunch of muppets did last time ? Presiding over the closure of more small businesses before or since.

        Get real old man. The Tories are no better than "New Labour". In fact if you sat back and took an objective view, there's about a Rizlas thickness between both bunches of t0ssp0ts.

  48. Mike Richards Silver badge


    The money spent so far is sunk, lost, gone - whatever you want to call it.

    Johnson seems to think that by getting the public to pay for it, the books miraculously balance. But that money isn't magicked out of nowhere - it is taken from other expenditure those people could have made - you know the sort, things that might have kept people employed, or just happy.

  49. dek

    Dredging the bottom for an excuse to keep ID cards

    "The money all comes back because we charge for ID cards. If we stop now you've wasted all the capital investment and you get no money back because we will charge for the ID card," said Johnson.

    So after years of wrongly claiming ID cards will solve everything under the sun this is their final gambit!? Pathetic morons to the last.

  50. Onionman

    Sunk costs

    Politicians couldn't recognise a sunk cost if it fell on them.


  51. Harry
    Thumb Down

    "will be recouped through charging the public"

    That's completely the opposite of "paying for itself".

    If the scheme really did "pay for itself" then there would be no need for a CHARGE.

    Clearly, the scheme doesn't pay for itself in any "meaningful" way, shape or form and the false pretence that it does is just the sort of bogus rubbish that you expect from incompetent government officials.

  52. Ashley Stevens

    Basic misunderstanding of sunk costs

    Oh dear, to think such a twit could be in such a senior position. What he's saying is that we've spent some money on it. So we should spend a lot more money on it, instead of canceling it and wasting the money we've spent so far. ie we should waste a lot more money because we've wasted some already and would have nothing to show for it. ie let's throw good money after bad.

    Can't he understand what's spent already is sunk costs? What we spend in the future we can control. Whether it comes from general taxation or a fee for the card, it all the same, a form of tax on the populace. What a rank idiot. Shameful that such people can get to such high places.

    If he was in private business, he wouldn't be. Not for long anyway...

  53. Captain Mainwaring

    More fatuous nonsense from postman Alan

    ID cards will pay for themselves Alan? Er... no, not quite. At least thirteen million people will have to buy one before they start paying for themselves. Given a choice I'm sure that most of those thirteen million people would rather pass on that one and spend the money on something useful instead.

    I think the Home Secretary's logic goes something like this. We spend billions of pounds up front for an ID card project which eventually we would like to force you all to have and then, when you all have no choice in the matter, we will recoup our initial investment and claim it was all self-financing. Neat eh?

    Mind the door on the way out Mr Johnson; oh and good luck in your new career.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Not 'good luck in your new career'. Mind the door on the way out Mr Johnson; FOAD.

  54. Piers


    >The money all comes back because we charge for ID cards.

    >If we stop now you've wasted all the capital investment and

    >you get no money back because we will charge for the ID card.

    What he means is, they've ALREADY SPENT OUR MONEY once

    and now they WANT TO CHARGE US AGAIN to get it all back!!!

    1. JonP

      Our Money...

      The problem is that the Government think it's THEIR money.

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Johnson failing basic math, film at 11

    Whether he charges for ID cards or pays it out of tax proceeds, it's all coming out of the population's pocket. He ought to be run out of town in tar and feathers for shamefully wasting other people's money like this.

    Still and all, this brings up a wonderful opportunity: First get him to agree that ID cards will _only_ be funded through charging for the cards, then campaign _against_ people getting a card exactly twice as much as the government will be campaigning to get everybody to buy into the card scheme. Having entire ministries go titsup this way would be a wonderful way to get rid of unwanted governmental malarkey.

    Hey, leave me my last illusion, you.

  56. Vision Aforethought
    Big Brother

    The Home Sec is a Marxist

    And don't ANYONE forget that. Britain is walking into a very dark and sinister future, blindly by the looks of things. ID cards should be 100% voluntary and the data behind them managed by the individual, with the law purely there to ensure data validity and security. And I should reserve the right to destroy my ID card (and ALL data behind it) at any time.

  57. Graham Bartlett

    At the risk of repeating myself today

    ... another reason for Labour and the Conservatives to both be given the boot. "Hung Parliament"? Half of them damn well should be.

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    'Spin' is alive and well

    Expenses incurred by the government and paid for by the people is called 'taxation'. And the project will ultimately be a failure if it isn't used by the entire population. So the Labour plan is to increase taxation to pay for its pet project to tag and monitor the entire population. They haven't even broached the fact that cards are only useful if they can be universally read at the points of use, and who will pay for that? *All* of us will pay as the cost is added to everything we buy - yet another tax hike in effect.

    The fact that Labour is striving to disguise the cost and ultimate role/spread of the ID card is deeply disturbing. I'm longing for a government that works for the people and is up-front about their plans. No more private schemes and spin!!

  59. Cucumber C Face

    Godwins Law

    "If we stop now you've wasted all the capital investment"

    Did they try that defence at Nuremburg by any chance?

  60. Sean Timarco Baggaley

    Dear Mr. Alan "Bloody Stupid" Johnson,

    Please look up the phrase, "Cutting your losses" before spouting bollocks like this.

  61. RW

    "If we stop now you've wasted all the capital investment"

    An absolutely classic economic fallacy. It's the same fallacy that leads to being nickled and dimed keeping an old car running: "I've spent so much money on it now, I have to spend more to recover those costs."

    Does Johnson realize how stupid this sounds to anyone with an IQ over, say, 75?

    Incidentally, this also exemplifies NuLabour's inability to say "we have made a mistake."

  62. John 98

    £80 to prove I'm me

    On top of a passport, a driving licence etc. etc. ?

    And then the excuses for making it compulsory will start - and the stories about how the entire database got to the Mafia, Al Quaeda, the CIA, the world and his dog on usb sticks.

    Let's kill it now and Johnson should be locked up - Broadmore with the other criminally insane for lying for his loony piece of bureaucracy.

  63. Sir Runcible Spoon


    Alan Johnson is full of shit, and you can take that to the bank. Oh.

  64. Nigel Barrett

    paying for itself

    The only way I'll have one of those is if it pays for itself - cause I won't.

  65. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother


    I believe that ID cards would be boycotted by so many people that the sceme would have to be abandoned.

    You can't force millions of people to carry them if they refuse.

  66. Anonymous Coward

    I really don't mind.

    Being honest and i am probably on my own here. I welcome the scheme. I think its a good idea, and people have to stop closing themselves down. People are worried about the 'Security risks'..... WHY? The National ID register will hold just as much information on you as the NHS one does, the DWP Database, your local council, also not forgetting, if you have a passport, then... well they already have everything there too, and probably have the same vulnerabilities but also the same security surrounding them.

    The ID cards are basically in my eyes are simply just a ageless passports. They hold the same power (you can travel in europe, and use them for 1st degree ID)... so being honest I really don't understand why people are moaning about the ID cards?

    I would rather have that for £30 and if I have it stolen or it gets lost in a state of drunken mayhem then fine, I would take that on a night out then to take my passport out, or my drivers licence that has my name address date of birth printed all over it.

    so I welcome the cards. and there is my two cents.

    1. chr0m4t1c


      Yep, you're on your own.

      Firstly, the NID will not have the same information as the NHS database, the DWP, etc. It's not necessary to have iris scans, photographs or fingerprints taken to be on those databases. Those databases generally have as much information as they need to make sure they can provide the appropriate services. Whilst they do have additional information that allows them to "talk" to other databases where appropriate, they do not have *everything*. That means that when someone wants to find out everything about you, they need to go to several places. If you don't understand why this is more secure, then please stay away from anything to do with security.

      ID cards are *not* an ageless passport. They have a photograph on them, so unless you happen to be immortal it will need to be updated from time to time. It /might/ be less frequently than every ten years, but you *will not* be able to just get a card at 16 and keep it until you die.

      While you may eventually be able to use them to travel in Europe, you can't right now because the validity is somewhat hit-and-miss, even within the UK, never mind elsewhere. Besides, if you're travelling regularly you would be foolish not to just have a normal passport because it gives you much more flexibility.

      Yes the ID card is £30, but *only* if you already have a valid passport, if not that'll cost you an extra £77.50. Not quite such good value for money.

      Oh and the identity card has your full name, place and date of birth on it - making it a trivial task for someone to go and get a copy of your birth certificate, which despite frequent pleas not to, many places will take as valid ID.

      On top of that, once someone has your birth certificate, they will have your mother's maiden name. If you lost your ID card with your wallet, how much stuff would *that* give someone access to? Bank account? Could they call your credit card company and order an new card at a new address?

      You're being asked to carry a *huge* personal risk in exchange for at best marginal convenience and negligible (if any) improvements in national security.

      Still on the fence?

      Do you think you'll still be on the fence in 5-10 years when it's too late?

      1. Kurisu

        I am OP

        While i agree with you on the most part, there still things I am bugged with. Firstly ley me clear up, i meant pageless not ageless. typo sorry.

        Secdonly, if you lost your passport, that contains place of birth just like the NID CARD also I do understand the better security in accessing data over multiple databases. Yes im still in the fence but you have gave me much to ponder.

        Also let me add, the card is still £30 if you dont have a passport, you just need your mum and dads information, much like when you apply for a passport.

        Also passports in 2012 will requier finger prints ect if all goes ahead

        lastly I apologise for grammar and spelling, im on a bus replying.

    2. Red Bren

      You really don't mind?

      Yet you hide behind anonymity*

      "The ID cards are basically in my eyes are simply just a ageless passports."

      No they're not "ageless", they have to updated regularly as your features age and change. And if they are "simply" passports, then why do we not just stick with passports?

      It's the huge database behind it that worries me. All that data, in one place and crosslinked, ready to be hacked and lost.

      *Ok, I accept that I'm posting this using a pseudonym, but it's always the same pseudonym.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      This is an example of why it is important. You should make it just a little more obvious 'between the lines' that this was a joke. Subtlety is good, but too subtle is indistinguishable from being serious.

      1. Kurisu


        things that where a mistake.

        I posted anonymously, accidentally. and I was also meaning to say pageless and not ageless.

  67. David Simpson 1

    Bye Bye Alan.....

    So our tax money was spent developing this system so that we could pay over the odds for the cards and refund the government with our money to repay our tax money.

    Hmmm I think Alan is helping Labour fall down the poles like a burning turd, welcome to a future of few seats and fewer decisions idiots !

  68. Anonymous John

    Self financing title

    £5.3 billion / 3000 = Nearly £18million each.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      UK mass emigration ?

      £5.3 billion

      50,893,318 population aged 15 years and over (CIA Factbook - 2009 figures)

      So that's £104.14 each. Bargain.

      We will all buy one. Stealth legislation will require it (eg. can't open a bank account without one, need one to buy foreign currency, need one to vote...).

      Correction - we will all buy one unless people have the courage to avoid voting Labour even if this means a hung parliament.

  69. Richard L

    @AC 01:13 - Oh the Irony

    Of an Anonymous Coward welcoming the cards and the associated database.

    Care to tell us your name?

    1. Kurisu

      I am anon

      I am the anon coward, and I do indeed welcome the cards, my name is Chris

      1. ElFatbob

        Chris, you're welcome to them...

        ..if that's what you want.

        But the thing that gets most people on here is that they will be neither voluntary or secure.

        They will not be voluntary as the government will compel people to have them. Initially by restricting access to services and say, the purchase of age sensitive goods, then by law.

        In the time between voluntary and compulsion, those who do want one and can live with the restrictions will be painted as social deviants, obvious criminals who must have something to hide (it's going to go the same way with the new 'Are you a paedo' vetting / barring 'service' - employers from all sectors will want one as a matter of course and those who don't want to go on yet another database will obviously be paedos)

        Then there is the security aspect. Reams of information on the register about why this is a badly implemented system, but you should at least be concerned that the government has repeatedly 'lost' key personal data and it will only be a matter of time before it happens in some form to the NIR.

        And finally, there is the consideration as to the real reason they want this - it is ultimately about statist control (we have a bunch of communists running the country at the moment, so this shouldn't be a surprise).

        You will not be able to travel abroad without one (the passport ruse to get people on the database), you will need one to buy a car, house, or get a bank account, access services and buy fags / booze.

        All your transactions and 'life' data are going to be kept on the part of the database that is going to be flogged to business while the so called private part of it (biometric + 'personal' information) will just be....err left on a train at some point.

        At the moment, you have some control over this. Every transaction you make on your credit / debit card is recorded and profiled by the issuers. You have the option to use cash.

        With the ID card, you will be compelled to have & use it, pay for it, then have the analysis of your lifestyle sold to the highest bidder.

        Think i'm bullshitting? Gov already has form on how this will play out....

        DVLA currently sell your details for £2.50 a pop.

        APNR used to be simply about catching road tax dodgers. It's is now installed (with no parliamentary oversight or recourse) across the entire network of road cameras up and down the motorways and in petrol stations. If you're on some kind of police list, then you can't fill up.

        They sell, sorry grant access to the DNA database for 'research' purposes. The police can say 'no' (they are all on it routinely), but the innocents caught on it cannot.

        And if you give me the 'nothing to fear, nothing to hide' bull, i would say you actually don't deserve the quickly diminishing freedoms that you have.

      2. Ed Blackshaw Silver badge

        Hello Chris

        The issue at question here is not the card, but the database. You ask why is would be different to the NHS databse?

        The answer is access. The NHS database itself is not a good idea IMHO, but I can understand the need for doctors to have access to patient's records for the purposes of emergency treatment. The point is this: only medical staff would ahve access to your information, it would only be your medical information (and rest assured any ID database would hold more, and LINK to the NHS data too), and any access to that information would be logged and audited. The NHS are quite hot on data security don't you know?

        An ID database, on the other hand, would by necessity be open to all sorts of people. With an increased amount of access, the opportunity for criminal use increases, and the ability to secure the DB decreases.

        And then there's the elephant in the room - there is no NEED for an ID database. We don't have one now (officially), and there is no discernable problem that the existence of such a DB would solve.

  70. Winkypop Silver badge

    Just imagine if...

    ... a Government put £5 billion aside for practical crime* fighting.

    The interest alone would be staggering.

    No need for plastic cards and databases either.

    * crime: including the Nu-Crime [TM] called Terrorism.

  71. N2 Silver badge

    The thinking

    Of these idiots just beggars belief, no it maligns the thought process, how on earth can they state there will be no cost when once again the burden falls on the tax payer to fund and pay?

    Their antics remind me of General Hogmanay Melchett's classic, like "I know, we will attack where the line is strongest, that way they wont be suspecting it"...

    or Lets sell 400 tons of gold when the price is lowest, that way when we need it most we can buy it back when the price has tripled, I suspect that also had 'no cost'

  72. Anonymous Coward

    If that's the best he can do...

    "If we stop now you've wasted all the capital investment and you get no money back because we will charge for the ID card,"

    They've hit the bottom of the barrel and done some serious scraping to come up with that little gem. Perhaps we can get the deficit down by telling them in foreign to give us money or we'll nuke them - after all, all that kit is just a drain on resources if it doesn't pay its way.

    Labour's recent history is littered with capital investments on which they didn't get a return; the half built, half baked health, education and regeneration projects that were started for the political 'wow' headlines, and quietly dropped when it became obvious they wouldn't work / weren't needed or simply had costs mounting out of control.

    Johnson's rather inane remark betrays the fact that Labour - and the tories on their previous outing - view the electorate as little more that target practice for their own 'oh-so-clever' political fundamentalisms. I'd personally prefer a government that did things because they were useful rather than making us all pay, pay and pay again for their self-funding political vanities.

  73. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Nice to know.

    Of course, he's got the basic principal wrong as many have pointed out but I look forward to hearing the shrieks of pain as the invoices for the ID cards drop through the letterboxes of those stupid enough (or forced to) sign up for one.

    Let's see, 13 Billion divided by how many ID cards have they issued?

  74. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    Darling estimated £40m to scap ID cards.

    IIRC it was on a Channel 4 News interview.

    £40m now Vs £5.6Bn (at *least*). *not* P^*sing that money away over the next 5 years sounds like a pretty good idea to me.

    Still no actual sight of what "cost savings" and where they will come are, aside from the old chestnuts of "identity theft" AKA credit card fraud and benefit fraud which IIRC was estimated at around £25m a year. Not much savings from a pretty big chunk of case HMG does not have.

    14 days to go.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @John Smith 19

      Credit card fraud, which to quite a lot of peoples consternation was handed to the banks to investigate, the police no longer touch it....... Why consternation ? because the banks have a vested interest in doing the minimum investigation and ensuring the customer has to bear the loss. It's only a wonder they aren't allowed ot bill the defrauded customer for the cost of investigation into the bargain.

      Oh Joy.....

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge


        "Credit card fraud, which to quite a lot of peoples consternation was handed to the banks to investigate,"

        Which does not leave much of any *alleged* business case for having them. I say alleged as with the so few traffic light reviews of the project published it's still nearly impossible to figure out where all those "savings" are meant to come from.

  75. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    make them free but...

    ...can't access any public service without one

    No card? no free NHS treatment

    No card? no social security, housing benefit etc

    No card? no state education

    No card? no bank account

    No card? no (legitimate) employment

    Illegal immigrant - hence no card - hence you don't exist - hence no burden on UK taxpayer

  76. RMS

    Paid for twice really!

    Far from paying for itself we're really paying for it twice. Once through taxes and then again to purchase a card.

  77. Graham Bartlett


    Honestly, I personally don't care whether we have ID cards or not. I carry my driver's license everywhere anyway.

    I *do* care about a civil service that can't organise a pissup in a brewery and wastes an inconceivable amount of money on something like this.

    I *do* care that the data is rather badly secured.

    I *do* care about elected government officials lying about what this system is supposed to achieve.

    I *do* care that elected government officials think we'll all stump up a huge sum of money for something that actually won't give us any benefit.

    And I *do* care about an elected government official trying to justify throwing good money after bad by saying "but we'll have wasted all the money we've spent". No, your employees have already wasted the vast majority of that money by being crap at their jobs, and we'd like someone in the job with the sense to recognise when you're throwing good money after bad.

  78. Big Jaz

    This country needs help!!!

    SOS - Labour out, this country is in a state and getting worse, labour on great form as normal making a mess and covering it up with more mess!

    This country needs a government with some balls to actually fight for what is right not just politically correct in their eyes!!

    Labour - DIE DIE DIE

  79. Armus Squelprom

    What do they *do* to incoming Home Secretaries?

    Alan Johnson seemed a reasonable, tolerant sort of chap. Within a week he's sounding like O'Brien in 1984, just like all his predecessors. There must be an induction briefing, but is it :

    - Here is the incredible power you now have, as long as you play along with our peasant-scaring strategy. or...

    - Here are the true threats facing UK, the real reason why we absolutely have to arrest photographers and kill black suspects - but the public cannot be told

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge

      @Armus Squelprom

      "What do they *do* to incoming Home Secretaries? "

      Deity knows. I think it's referred to as "Going native," when a Minister identifies a little too closely with his departments *exact* view of the situation.

      Does some times work in reverse. I recall one of the Conservative (a real hang-em-high type) had been in the post for a fairly short time and concluded that prison was a very efficient way to make bad people much worse.

      There is the point are MP's who want this spot *inherently* power mad authoritarians or does the job give them a power complex. Hopefully the splitting of the department into the Ministry of Justice and the Home Office *might* improve things a bit. Watching interviews with old senior civil servants shows they did not like that as "It made it less interesting, with a simpler brief."

      Well f£$k them. Since when was it *any* government's job to make a senior civil servant's role more interesting? How about more cost effective? More accountable? More protective of the rights of the Queen's subjects?

  80. Anonymous Coward

    Don't mind them either

    I have an ID card and I use it for travel in Europe and proof of age when I go to the pub. It's only £30 which is cheaper than a passport and smaller because I travel a lot.

    I updated my address and that was free, just like it is for your driving license (although the driving license has your address on and my ID card doesn't).

    And at least the Israelis can't fake a card with your fingerprints on it too!

    1. Andy Enderby 1

      oh dear.......

      "And at least the Israelis can't fake a card with your fingerprints on it too!"

      You really think so ? Really ? Will it matter when the droid catching sight of the thing just waves the perp through ? Don't forget that a whole bunch of those passports had the wrong number of digits in the serial number to be a legit passport whether for one of the phished Id's, the president of the Irish republic, or Bozo the Magnificent.

      Seriously dude, get real, anything made by humans can be replicated by humans, with just enough differences to pass as the real deal.

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