Too much power
It's worse than you think. I recently retired (USA) and am on social security. For other reasons I had to get a paper verification of my status to a medical establishment in a tight time frame. So I log on to the government site, and try to start a "MYSSA" account, but the procedure fails. I then call the number, and after the usual multi-hour wait when calling the government, I got to a human who said that if I'm NOT in the equifax or experian databases, they cannot prove I exist! (I am in the OPM as I had a security clearance, or I should be, anyway - but two government entities here can't talk to each other apparently unless there's a political motive to incriminate someone).
Yep, the government can't keep track of my existence - even as an EMPLOYEE(!) if I'm not in a "private" database! One that has data that's all too powerful - identity theft is the least of it - can't get a loan?
Can't even get phone service with some providers, and here in the US you probably don't have a choice of that or ISP. Guess you your government really is - bankers and their services. Notice how they got bailed out with our money, how they get everything they want, and look at the horrible punishment they're getting here for history-making breach. /sarcasm
I'm sure you can connect those dots, they're real close together.
Lucky I was grandfathered in long ago on those things. All you have to do to drop off the earth is not use credit in any form or fail to pay a bill in 7+ years, and bam, you're a ghost. Screw someone - don't pay a bill, have them "screw up your rating" and it turns out that a negative number is better than no number at all! Suddenly everyone wants to lend you money, the government can find you again (which may be good or not)....
When I mentioned this to the government human and pointed out that they must know I exist and where I live as I get checks...they said "shhhhh, don't mess it up, if these dots get connected they'll stop".
And you guys think your UK government is screwy. Hold our beer. No telling who wins that one.