The Home Affairs Select Committee met last night to consider Big Blunkett’s plan to impose compulsory National Identity Cards on innocent British citizens. They interviewed some of the Home Office officials who have accepted responsibility for disassembling our civil liberties by implementing the cards.
Of particular interest to the Committee was the cost of the scheme. Despite being asked no less than seven times, the Home Office officials repeatedly refused to answer the question saying only that it would be between 1.3 thousand million and 3.1 thousand million pounds. As Committee Chair John Denham pointed out, a range of 2 thousand million pounds is unacceptably broad. And that’s assuming that the project remains on budget!
This unwillingness to talk openly about cost suggests a possible weak point within the Government. It is probably worth pressing this when contacting your MP or the media.
It’s especially ironic that the reason given for refusing to answer was “commercial confidentiality”. It seems that civil servants expect to have their privacy protected whilst they invade ours.
Cross-posted from The Chestnut Tree Cafe