The government plans to push ahead with its controversial plans to force all people living in the United Kingdom to carry identity cards, despite claims that this would lead to a further erosion on people’s liberties.
On figures released by the Home Office, the current cost of the plan to implement the scheme would cost over an estimated £5.6 billion over ten years. Foreign nationals will have to carry a card from 2008, while British nationals will have to carry one from 2010.
Under current leglislation, the government must release regular cost figures to the public twice a year. However, many experts have criticised the fact that the scheme has suffered from malfunctions and breakdowns, leading to cost overruns. Indeed, the anti-card organisation No2ID claimed the Home Office is trying to hide the true cost of the scheme.
But the main problem with the cards are the fact that they give the government the green light to snoop on every person in the country, and to use state power against people who oppose them. Many people would have been shocked at the treatment received by Brian Haw, the anti-war protestor who was arrested by police at his camp outside the Houses of Parliament a while ago.
The huge cost the government has committed to the scheme will lead to their downfall. Like ostriches’ heads in the sand, they ignore the continued opposition to any aspect of state intrusion in their lives.