back to article issues death warrant for ID cards

ID cards will be history within 100 days, the government said today as it published laws to destroy the scheme. The Home Office, for years tasked with promotion of the project under Labour, said it aims to pass the Identity Documents Bill before the Parliamentary recess starts in August. It is the first legislation introduced …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Happy - until the last line

    Quote: "A separate ID cards scheme for foreign nationals will go ahead"

    And there's the thin end of the wedge for the whole thing to start again....

    1. Ed Blackshaw Silver badge

      That was my initial reaction too

      But then I thought about it, and if you have a visa system for foreign nationals, then it follows that you need to keep a list of who they are in order to enforce that system. Why not issue them with a bit of plastic that links the person to the entry on that register? It makes the job a lot easier for immigration officials if the person they are checking up on has a card that says that they are allowed to still be here. That then allows them to focus their activities on the people here without cards, who can't prove that they are EU nationals.

      So, logically, if you are going to police immigration in any way, then the cards for that purpose aren't a bad idea. The alternative is to not police immigration at all. There may be arguments for and against this, but the choice has been made already.

      This is not the same thing as a national ID card, the real problems with which were the intrusive register behind it, high cost, and the creeping compulsory nature

      1. rpjs

        That's right

        Non-EU resident foreigners previously had to have a residency permit applied to their passport, now they get it as a separate card instead, just like the US "Green Card". Personally I'd prefer the foreign resident ID Card be renamed something like a Residency Card, simply so all mention of "ID cards" can be removed from the political lexicon, but I suspect most resident foreigners will prefer a card to carting their passport around.

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Here's how it works

        @Ed Blackshaw: "This is not the same thing as a national ID card"

        Most of this ID card insanity was kicked off by 9/11 - it was a gift to people who dream of having that kind of control. We were spared simply because the technology wasn't ready to go, and resistance to the idea grew as time passed.

        You think the government has killed the scheme now - but look at the funding behind it. Notice a more recent article on The Register pointing out the only a small part of the project has actually been axed. Most of the technology will be developed and tested on foreign nationals, and no one will complain because they are a small minority with no political voice (and a soft target for the nation's problems, so generally viewed with suspicion). It isn't "just a card" - it's the full deal for the ID the control freaks want us all to carry in future.

        Then - when the next major atrocity occurs - the technology will be rolled out to the remainder of the population faster than you can say "civil liberties".

      4. veti Silver badge

        "Why not issue them with a bit of plastic...?"

        Because the foreign national already has a unique identifying document. It's called a "passport". You don't have to carry it with you at all times, but you probably do have to produce it when, e.g., applying for a job or opening a bank account.

        How is giving them an <em>extra</em> piece of plastic to keep track of, going to make anyone's life any easier?

        Unless, of course, the idea is to require them to carry it at all times and produce it on demand by police. In which case you're still introducing fascism, just being a bit more selective about it. Which is no problem, fascism is <em>all about</em> being selective, it'll expand later when we've learned to accept it.

      5. lglethal Silver badge

        @ Ed Blackshaw

        It is already a requirement for any non-EU nationals to have a work/student permit in their passport. Without this you cannot enter the country unless your from a select group of countries and your here on a holiday which is less then 3 months (and you must in those cases have proof of your plane/train trip out).

        So sorry, this card wont help immmigration people because:

        a) a passport with a required permit is already required to enter the country.

        b) those entering on holidays (from that small select group of nations not requiring a visa) wont require the ID card, and as these are the ones most likely to over stay there visa, or work illegally this wont help them.

        c) this will not be able to be applied to EU nationals (it would be against the EU charter), so no tracking of those dirty foreigners.

        So please tell me exactly how these ID cards will do anything which the current visa scheme doesnt already accomplish?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      er ...

      I can't see it's any different from requiring foreign nationals to have a visa .....

    3. Asgard
      Big Brother

      @Ralph 5: "thin end of the wedge"

      The thin end of the wedge is already a lot bigger than the politicians (in all parties) would like us to believe. Sadly there are many more ways they can slowly force some kind of ID cards on all of us. e.g.

      1... "A separate ID cards scheme for foreign nationals"

      2... And what about new driving licenses?

      3... And what about new Passports?

      4... And what about next generation oyster travel cards?

      5... Also what about next generation credit cards?

      6... etc..

      Plus thats before we even get into a discussion on the so called future cashless society that some lobbyists want us all to have, which will need some kind of next generation credit card for that as well (because (A) companies can then spy on our entire income and expenditure details and then sell these details (so more profit for them from exploiting us) and (B) the government can then use this data to also spy on us as well, which is ideal for taxing all transactions (so no more cash in hand payments) and then (C) the government will also be able to spy on everyone (when, where and why for whatever reason you use the card) in their endless war on terrorists/political protesters/union members/home owners fighting airport expansion/environmental protesters etc...

      Sadly the war against ID Cards isn't over. This is just the first round. There will be many more battles to come and they are determined to win some of them. So sadly we will end up with ID cards in some form sooner or later, unless we fight very hard against them all and I don't see how we can stop some ways it can be brought in. Ultimately they (our masters, the people with money and power) want to spy on us all so they can exploit us for their gain and so sadly they will find a way to do that one way or another.

      The war against ID Cards isn't over.:(

  2. Seanmon

    15,000 volunteers

    ... who paid £30 for an ID card ... will not get a refund.

    Good. Idiocy should not be rewarded.

    1. yakitoo

      Collectors items

      might be worth a few quid in the future.

      1. dervheid


        er, Not...

        Certainly not the £30 the idiots coughed up

      2. Slartybardfast

        Bio Data

        A really good idea, give someone on Ebay a card with my biometric data on it as well as NI number etc. FTW

  3. Anonymous Coward


    "Shortly after the National Identity Register will be destroyed."

    Terminator 2 style I hope. 'one more barrel, 2 more minutes [...] I don't know how much longer I can h-h-hold this'

    "though Labour claimed this would be self-funding by charges to the public."

    wtf? "Don't worry, it won't cost you anything in tax, because we're going to make you pay for it upfront" Hardly reassuring was it? Bunch of selfish twats, glad to see the back of them.

    Gotta agree with 'Ralph 5' above.... "And there's the thin end of the wedge for the whole thing to start again...." quite.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What could you do instead of keeping ID cards for Johnny Foreigner?

    "Quote: "A separate ID cards scheme for foreign nationals will go ahead"

    And there's the thin end of the wedge for the whole thing to start again...."

    Exactly, why not just inject a chip on entry, won't lose them and can send em home at some point too.

    No, I'm not against imigration, just against exploitation of an already strained system.

    For the sensitive souls, the chip injection comment was humour by the way. ;-)

  5. irish donkey

    Jacqui Smith's Legacy

    Serving Home Secretary's husband caught charging Porn to the Tax payer. What a laugh our children will have in 100 years when they are doing Modern History.

    And that's not to mention fiddling her expenses.

    How will history judge the Labour Government of the 00'ies

    Please feel free to add you own legacies. Maybe Jacqui will read them. Hope so

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Maybe Jacqui will read them. Hope so

      I'd rather go stand outside her house - the actual one - and jeer.

      Maybe we could get enough coach-loads up for it that the police would just stand by and watch.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    Buy them off friends for a couple of quid and whap 'em up on the world's most famous tat-market!

    1. Ian Stephenson

      Those would be exfriends...

      Once they found out you sold their identities to fraudsters then?

    2. irish donkey

      Your friends have ID Cards?

      I thought the only people that had ID Cards were the Blue Rinse Daily Mail Reading brigade.

      What sort of friends do you have?

  7. Anonymous Coward

    @ID cards for Johnny Foreigner...

    ID cards for Johnny Foreigner are worthless if the absence of an ID card demonstrates you are not a Johnny Foreigner. And that will be the justification for bringing the whole sorry mess back in a year's time, as the empire building apparatchnik at the Home Office responsible for the advice to keep them undoubtedly realises...

    AC because I'm a commonwealth citizen resdient over here for 50 years, but without a current password with a residency permit.

    1. I didn't do IT.

      Re: Absence of ID

      The problem really isn't the ID card itself; there are many good reasons to have a way of verifying who you are and your legal ability to buy alcohol, drive, etc. The problem was the NIR behind it that contained EVERY LITTLE PIECE OF INFORMATION ABOUT YOU, WHAT YOU DID, WHERE YOU WENT, etc. and fined you if you didn't keep Nanny up to date.

      If they revamped the Driver's License/Permit to be a valid passport substitute, not many would complain... as long as there wasn't a database behind it tracking you with information it didn't need to know. Fingerprints required? Fine - BUT KEEP THEM IN THE CARD and NOT IN YOUR DATABASE. Ensure that the encryption ON THE CARD is secure enough to dissuade "casual" forgeries (governmental forgeries are beyond our scope, here).

      Having ANY CURRENCY based system TIED TO YOUR IDENTITY DOCUMENT is FAIL, FAIL, three times FAIL. Having any tie-in of governmental ID with your money is begging (Nay, truly GAGGING!) for automated monitoring and "control"; immediate violation of privacy and immediate proof that government doesn't trust it own electorate.

      If it has gotten to the point where the government doesn't trust The People, then The People have no need to trust the government, either.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Best bit

    Best bit is actually the "we're terminating it now and your cards are invalid". Wonderful to pay £30 for something that won't even work any more AND miss out on your refund. I thought they would be given quite a while by which time the ID card would need renewal anyway. I bet there's a handful of angry people about that and perhaps that will convince them to stay off the next ID scheme that is dreamt up, like the rest of us did this time around.

    It has to be said, though - if you need to scrap a scheme, do it this way - terminate contracts, fulfil legal obligations, sack everyone, destroy all the system so it doesn't get resurrected and then get the hell out of there. Don't pussy-foot about "Well, we've already paid X amount so it might be cheaper to carry it on...", just destroy the damn idea.

    I have a sledgehammer, a series of large magnets and (failing that) a barbecue , if any disks that stored ID data need obliterating.

    1. MrJP
      Thumb Up


      ...take off and nuke it from orbit. It's the only way to be sure!"

  9. Geoff Campbell Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    So where do I go.... dance on its grave?


    1. dervheid

      I'd suggest that this...

      is just about the ideal place...

  10. Eponymous Cowherd
    Thumb Up

    I assume...

    Her Majesty's Opposition will oppose the Identity Documents Bill. It will be fun to hear Alan Johnson trying (and certainly failing) to defend the monstrosity that was the NIR.

  11. ElFatbob

    Good, but...

    I think our EU overlords will be bringing this back in some form or another. Sadly, i think we've just had a very welsome but temporary respite.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      The EU is actually on the right side...

      I doubt it. In fact, after getting a snotty letter from an airline demanding I log onto their wonky website to provide some Advance Passenger Information for an upcoming intra-EU flight, a little digging revealed that provision of this information isn't in fact mandatory as they had been claiming. Apparently the office in charge of e-Borders was forced to give assurances to the EU that no carrier will deny boarding if API isn't provided, nor make provision of such information conditional on a sale of a ticket. So cheers Europe, for nipping another stupid tracking database in the bud!

  12. Igamogam
    Thumb Down

    Oh dear...

    Bang goes a good idea and in typical UK fashion Britain is demostrating its dire need to be always 40 years behind the times and UK taxpayers will have to spend even more money in future when a ID card system is finally introduced (because it WILL happen).

    Meanwhile for simple everyday tasks and trans-European travel I'm a third class citizen as I don't have an ID card (unlike everyone else I know who isn't a Brit). No wonder the UK is going down the pan.

    What a waste of money to build the infrastructure to produce ID cards and then throw it all away because of some edwardian-minded NIMBY politicians and the sheep that follow them.

    Personal freedom, bullshit, it's just a bloody ID card, keep it in perspective and begin to understand why Brits are considered insular, uninformed, binge-drinking football louts - living in a miserable pseudo-Dickensian la-la land.

    Maybe I can get a French passport and register as a foreigner so I can finally have an ID card...

    1. Ed Blackshaw Silver badge

      Just an ID card?

      It's not the card people object to, it's the register behind it, the cost, the 'voluntary' compulsory nature, and the fact that we never needed it in the first place.

      And what, exactly, is wrong with using your PASSPORT for trans-european travel? It has never caused an issue for me.

    2. Mark 65

      You do have one

      It's slightly bigger than credit card size but still fits in a pocket. Visas can be held against it electronically or stuck into it with glue. It's called a passport. There really isn't that much difference.

    3. John Lilburne

      Don't you get it yet?

      Opposition had little to do with the merits of an ID scheme, it was mostly to do with the fact that the Government wanted it. IOW just sticking two fingers up at the State.

    4. Anonymous Coward

      No, it wasn't just a bloody ID card.... came with the extreme odiousness of the National Identity Register behind it.

      If you want an ID card so badly, and wish to decamp to France to get one, then please do so and take your illiberal opinions with you old chap...

      Toodle pip!

    5. Eponymous Cowherd

      Oh do wake up...

      and smell the fsking coffee.

      It isn't (or, rather, wasn't) the principle of ID cards. If the Labour Government had introduced ID cards as a sort of lightweight passport *without* the biometric centralized NIR Big Brother shit backing it, nobody would have minded.

    6. Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face
      Thumb Down


      Traditionally in this country we license the existence of our politicians, not the other way around.

      You want to reverse that relationship of accountability so you can get on a plane without the huge imposition of carrying a document that doesn't quite fit in your wallet?

    7. RichyS


      Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

    8. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Troll Icon

      You forgot the troll icon because there is no way your rambing is internally consistent enough to be anything else.

      If you want to travel get a passport. It is *more* useful for that purpose. I have never had any problems travelling across Europe (on a fairly regular basis) without an ID card. Never.

      The ID card serves no purpose that isnt already covered by an identity document. If you wanted to pay money for some pointless plastic that is *your* choice and I can send you my paypal email if you want to buy some more.

      It is not "just a bloody ID card" - if it was, why are you getting your knickers in a twist about it going?

      If you want to prove who you are and that you are British get a bloody Passport. Get a British one rather than a French one.

    9. rastansaga

      Let me help you out...

      Get a white sticker, write the words 'ID card' on it and affix to the front of your British passport.

      Congratulations! you now have an ID card and can travel freely everywhere within the EU

      Job done.

  13. Andrew Cooper


    Are you sure about the biometric passports bit?

    Don't we have treaty obligations to be fulfilled with biometic passports?

    1. Chris Williams (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: er...

      The key is the "next generation" bit. Our obligations are fulfilled by the current generation of chip-carrying passports.

      - Chris

    2. Ed Blackshaw Silver badge

      Doesn't the photograph bit

      count as a biometric, as long as it can also be digitally stored to authenticate it? (i.e. person matches picture on passport. Picture on passport matches encrypted picture on chip, to make forgery harder.) I thought we didn't need more than that.

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Thumb Up

        @Ed Blackshaw

        We don't. The Labor government *wanted* more than that. The relevant UN air travel body was just the excuse to justify it.

    3. Eponymous Cowherd

      We already have them

      The "biometric" bit is merely a digital version of your photo and they fulfil our obligations.

      I don't have a problem with this as:

      a) I don't consider the image of my face to be private.

      b) The image isn't stored centrally.

      The problems with the proposed NIR based passports were:

      a) I consider my fingerprints to be private.

      b) Data stored centrally in the NIR.

      c) Data can be used by Police for the purposes of criminal investigation (all passport holders would be suspects in every crime).

      d) the proposed "enhanced" biometric passports weren't required by international agreement and were merely a sneaky way of getting ID card refuseniks onto the NIR.

  14. TeeCee Gold badge

    Get rich quick scheme!

    'Ang on, this means there's a list going begging of 15,000 gullible twunts who are known to fork over cash to any shonky old scheme.......

    Mine's the one with the CD-ROM in one pocket and the ticket to Lagos in the other.

  15. Shonko Kid

    Does this mean...

    that those 15000 ID cards will become collectable? I almost want one now...

    And would trading them on eBay be legal?

    1. Sooty


      You want to trade your ID card on ebay, containing all of your personally identifiable details, then good luck to you. I can think of a number of deposed Nigerian princes who would love to make your acquaintance.

  16. JMiles

    Self-funding by charges to the public?

    "The £800m operating cost of the scheme over ten years will also be saved, though Labour claimed this would be self-funding by charges to the public."

    What's the difference between funded by taxpayers and funded by charges to the public?

  17. nichomach


    Actually, I consider you an ill-informed, supercilious, self-absorbed twat living in a pseudo-techno-utopian la-la-land, as well as someone who fell for the "it's only a card" bollocks that the government sold to the gullible. They HADN'T constructed the infrastructure and in many respects didn't know how to or indeed who was going to pay for it, and what they had constructed went far beyond anything necessary to assure someone's identity and into the realms of a mechanism for mass-surveillance. I had no objection to the piece of plastic, but every objection to the massively complex, massively insecure and massively intrusive data-gathering infrastructure that they were hanging off the back of it. Oh, and use your damn passport, it's what it's there for.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    So on one day the Government doesnt have the power to do anything to stop McKinnon being deported without trial or presentation of evidence here; yet the next day they have the power to throw away huge government contracts?

    Makes no sense to me.............. Just like paris

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ceci n'est pas un titre

    Keeping it only for foreigners is still a pretty major defeat for civil liberties.

    The UK just lowered itself to the level of Japan, congratulations ConDem!

    1. rpjs

      Not just Japan

      but the US, the UK since c.1920 (albeit previously in the form of a passport endorsement) and oh, just about every country in the world. In fact, if you know of a country[1] that *doesn't* require foreign residents to hold some form of documentation of such status, please let me know. If it's warm and reasonably peaceful I might consider moving there.

      [1] By which I mean one with a functioning government. Somalia doesn't count

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Try here.

        The Netherlands. We can't do warm any more than Blighty can, but on the plus side it is considerably more peaceful (and if you're not feeling peaceful we have friendly little shops that can help with that).

        They don't foist ID on citizens of any other EU countries as the ID you already have* is deemed adequate. Those from elsewhere in the EU may register as foreign residents, but it's optional and I've yet to find anything that requires this (and I do have a car, a house and other such trappings here).

        I did once have an interesting conversation with the woman in the local Post Office who insisted I needed Dutch ID to register my change of address on the car. Pointing out that it was already registered to me and that the registration concerned had a stamp from that self same Post Office and her colleague's signature on it solved that one. Left her feeling a bit sheepish about the poor sod trying to do exactly the same thing she'd turned away the previous day though......

        *Yes there is something of a loophole for Brits here and it looks like this may now get to quietly continue for the foreseeable future.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        the UK since c.1920 I'm confused. Why is this extra piece of paper required for foreigners?

        In my understanding, the big difference is that foreigners will have to carry the piece of paper with them at all times or else, and need it to open bank accounts, etc. Does that really happen in every country, especially Europe?

  20. Anonymous Coward

    titles: just say no

    Result. Worth the next five years of tory idiocy just for this.

  21. Tom 35


    " though Labour claimed this would be self-funding by charges to the public."

    It's ok because we are not going to take the money from your right pocket... we are taking it from your left pocket...

    Paying for something that only a few use with user fees instead of tax is fine. People who don't use it don't have to pay for it. But as soon as most/all have to pay it's just another tax.

  22. Aaron Jacobs
    Big Brother


    I was dead against the idea, still am.

    But now they're being scrapped, I want one, to hang on my wall.

    1. TeeCee Gold badge

      "I want one, to hang on my wall."

      I want Wacky Jaqui to hang on my lamppost, but we can't have everything now, can we?

      1. Anonymous Coward

        You can....

        ...but presumably you'd like to have plausible deniability to go with that.

  23. peter 45

    Your money is ours....

    "....though Labour claimed this would be self-funding by charges to the public..."

    And in that one comment it shows that they still think that money in the Government coffers *** is 'their' money, but money that comes from the taxpayers is somehow 'free'. How is it that they still do not realise that the money in the Government coffers is not theirs but comes from the taxpayer and belongs to the taxpayer.

    Hellloooo Labour. Now I have your attention, let me learn you with a cluebat. Not taxing your the pound in your pocket but forcing you to spend it anyway IS THE SAME AS TAXING IT. Got it ?

    Sheesh. No wonder they got voted out.

    ***not that there is any left anyway.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    jam today

    Whilst getting rid of these obnoxious pieces of plastic and it's backend database is a good thing I have the feeling that they're just softening us up for the bigger shite to come as a result of cutbacks.

  25. Anonymous Coward

    Collecters items?

    Why would anyone want to collect or trade I.D. Cards? An ID card with someone elses image/details on is a pretty pointless collectors item. (unless if it was a famous person?)

  26. Captain Hogwash

    H.G. Wells was right

    Morlocks = politicians

    Eloi = citizens

  27. Richard Barnes
    Thumb Up

    Ding Dong the witch is dead.....

    ........for now.

  28. Matt Hawkins


    To all the suckers who bought a Nu-Labour ID card and will not get a refund ... HA HA HA HA HA HA

  29. Andrew Taylor 1

    Haven't you got it yet.

    The current Government won't need ID Cards for UK Nationals as the barcode on each person will suffice

  30. David 45

    Whack-O, chaps

    Bloody good show. I was just psyching myself up to be a martyr for refusing to have one.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    sell tickets to witness the distruction

    I'd gladly pay £30 or more to see the total destruction of that failed contrived NuLab Communist project. Perhaps at Wembley with the funds going to sort out the pitch.

    AC as i'm sure they'll try to track me down when back in power.

  32. veti Silver badge

    Have we all forgotten...

    ... it was a Tory home secretary, Michael Howard, who first floated the National Identity Register, long before 9/11?

    That the Tories have now turned dead against it says a lot about what a few terms in opposition will do for a party. To think that only five years ago, that same Michael Howard was actually the party leader.

    This is an idea that's entrenched in the Home Office civil service. As such, it will keep coming back. My prediction: if the Tories win more than two consecutive terms in office, no matter what else has or hasn't happened in the meantime, they'll reintroduce the idea themselves at that stage.

  33. Winkypop Silver badge

    Justice would be.....

    ....somehow wiping not just the ID card details but the *actual* identities of the 15,000 early adopters (AKA eejits)

    Ooops, computer says "no"


    And you are?

  34. FriskyMoose

    Sad really

    Having a German ID card in my wallet lets me travel all over Europe rather than having a passport with me at all times. I cannot see why everyone is against this as most EU countries have ID cards and I can only see it as a benefit especially when you have to travel and commute between EU countries on a weekly basis. Paying 30 Euros for an ID card that is valid for years to come is a small price to pay for freedom.

    1. lglethal Silver badge

      @ FriskyMoose

      Your obviously new around here, so let me explain the objection.

      The objection was never the card, as seen in Europe it is quite useful. The objection was that in order to get the card you had to provide fingerprints, photos, and all of your identity details (Ni number, address, where you lost your virginity, etc.), and this information would be stored on a giant über-database which would be accessible by every government agency, the police, and the immigration service. This information woudl be required by law to be kept up to date, e.g. if you moved and didnt tell the database people you had moved you could face a very large fine.

      That i can guarantee is not information you have on your ID card. Nor is the information from your ID card stored on a database in germany that is accessible to the polizei or other government departments.

      That is what people objected to. These sorts of intrusive information databases allow the government to track and control and THAT is what people object to.

      I hope that clarifies the situation. Welcome to The Reg...

  35. YumDogfood

    Repurpose the hardware/systems

    ...or are they going to be junked and sold at auction?

  36. TkH11

    Running Costs

    The estimate running costs by Labour of 800milion over 10 years and that its self financing from the public are complete pie in the sky.

    Here's my reasoning:

    800million over 10 years = 80 million per year.

    To raise 80 million quid from £30 cards = 2.6 million cards issued per year.

    Now, let's make an assumption: that it takes 3 hours of effort to process the paperwork, do the biometric scans and print the card.

    Total man effort required to process 2.6 million applications: = 7.6 million man hours.

    Number of man hours per person in one year is: 1800. (48 week year , allowing 4 weeks for holidays)

    In practise, it will be a lot lower than this because sick rates of civil servants are much higher than private industry, (the 1800 figure assumes 0 sick days). And, the actual effective utilisation rate of civil servants is very low, typically 50%, whereas for private industry, 75% is a typical figure. The 1800 figure assumes 100% utlisation.

    Therefore, number of people required to process 26 million applications in one year is:

    7.6million / 1800 = 4222

    4222 people required. Assume a salary of 18,000 per year gross to the employee. The actual cost to the company of paying an employee could be twice the basic salary because of the overheads of employers national insurance, pensions etc.

    So cost of employing one person: £36,000

    4222 people at £36,000 cost is: £151.9 million

    The figures just don't add up. There is no way the £800 million can be self financing. Yet more blatent lies from the Labour (ex)government.

    They'd have to more than double the price of the cards and dramatically improve civil servant productivity but cutting out all the admin, training, meetings and buracratic nonsense they get involved with on a day to day basis. Not a cat's chance in hell of achieving that.

    And this whole basis has been done on new applications, not the call centres that would need to be set up and hundreds, thousands of additional staff required to keep the scheme running.

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