Who cares? They can afford much more than that for their crazy wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, so this shouldn’t be an issue for an incoming Tory administration. Home Secretary Jacqui Smith however chose to remind MPs how difficult she still intends to make it to abolish her pet project:
In an attack on the Conservatives, who have pledged to abolish the scheme, Ms Smith said doing so would “not free up a large fund of money to spend on other priorities”.
But the Tories accused the Government of deliberately increasing the costs to make it hard for them to abolish the scheme.
During Commons question time, Ms Smith said the Government was “on track” to introduce ID cards this autumn.
She told MPs two contracts would be awarded next month – one to upgrade passport application systems and another for the biometric database for the next generation of passports and ID cards – with the contract for the ID cards themselves being awarded later in the year.
“As is normal, these contracts have been written to protect the public purse with standard clauses in the event of termination,” Ms Smith said.
“Cancellation of the ID cards contract and partial termination of the application and database contracts would cost in the region of £40 million in the early years.
“Therefore, as I have made clear on many occasions, scrapping ID cards and the identity database will not free up a large fund of money to spend on other priorities.”
Sounds to me like she’s running scared. Maybe she should just bite the bullet, acknowledge the government’s drastic mistake and withdraw from such an illiberal and morally wrong project before it’s too late. Post-Enlightenment governments do not have the right to invert the relationship between individual and state. The state is entirely beholden to the individual – her disgusting National Identity Register and ID cards would not just break the European Convention on Human Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by prohibiting individuals from leaving and returning to the country should they refuse to sign up to the scheme, but it would also make the individual fundamentally beholden to the state. No police state, Jacqui? Really?