back to article Johnson: ID cards will pay for themselves

The home secretary has said that the identity scheme's budget will be recouped through charging the public for the cards. Speaking during a crime debate on BBC Daily Politics programme on 20 April 2010, Alan Johnson said scrapping the identity card scheme at this stage would be counterproductive and a "waste". "The money all …


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  1. JimmyPage Silver badge

    If he thinks *I* will pay for an ID card...

    he is sadly mistaken.

    Alan Johnson and zanuLabour can FRO.

  2. Michael 36

    ID cards will pay for themselves

    The home secretary has said that the identity scheme's budget will be recouped through charging the public for the cards.

    Just a tax then.

    Perhaps somebody should point out to the Government the difference between income and taxation?

  3. Anonymous Coward


    Recoup money from public? We don't (or even asked) for the ID card. Why the f**k should I be made to pay for something I don't want?

    Johnson is an idiot. Get Labour out and away from all this crap.

  4. SuperTim

    they will.....

    but it will cost about £200 a card!

  5. Ted Treen
    Big Brother


    EVERYTHING these cretins propose and enact is funded by making the public (aka taxpayers) pay for it.

    So what's different?

  6. Graham Marsden

    "If we stop now you've wasted all the capital investment"

    In other words, as many people have been saying all along, Labour have bulled ahead with this project so that, having spent huge amounts of public money, they can claim that anyone trying to cancel the project will be "wasting" that dosh.

    Well, no, Mr Johnson, it is *YOU* who have wasted that money, it is *YOU* who have pissed it away on an unworkable control-freak project that has been doomed to failure from the start, don't start trying to put the blame on others now.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    no thanks

    And if i refuse to pay? or am unable to? if they start charging something stupid like £70-£80 as ive heard then they can shove it to be honest.

  8. LinkOfHyrule

    Rebrand ID cards...

    ...As Northerner cards! (and maybe call the ones for the young Londoners 'I can't get served in pubs' cards)

    1. BongoJoe
      Big Brother

      Buy shares in Wimpey

      I would imagine that the Government would have to start to build an awful lot of new prisons for those who refuse to have, or even buy, an ID Card.

      My mother, in her late eighties, remembers the cards from the last time around and has vowed to rot away spending her final days in jail rather than to have an ID Card. I won't be visiting her as I will be in clink up the road.

    2. Bayleaf
      Thumb Up

      Too true

      You have said it all here.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      More to the point...

      ...what will the penalties be for refusing? And - make no mistake - there WILL be penalties sooner or later.

      Indirect at first - exclusion from services, etc. But sooner or later they'll feel morally obliged to use a big stick on those anti-social elements who refuse to see that it's all in their own best interests.

  9. Elmer Phud Silver badge

    Last Resort

    "Alan Johnson said scrapping the identity card scheme at this stage would be counterproductive and a "waste".

    That's it is it?

    Johnson (great name, suits him) has run out of excuses and now relies on the 'But it cost so much' to try and justify the scheme.

    I still don't believe that a national ID scheme won't be foisted on us by the other two - they will find a need to register 'aliens' (The Alien Registration office in Holborn always amused me) to 'protect' the benefits system' and 'assist police in catching criminals' (what ever happened to Yardies and Euro-Crooks?). They are merely trying to distance themselves following the protests but as soon asthe fuss dies down it will come back relabelled and repackaged as something to 'protect honest UK citizens' or some such bollocks.

    1. hplasm Silver badge

      In other news-

      Gordon Brown said scrapping the Triumphant Nu-Labour Govenment at this stage would be counterproductive and a "waste".


      Go means 'Go'

  10. The BigYin

    In summary

    "The idea is bollocks, but we've given so much to our friends...err...spent so much on consulting that we will press on.

    'Sunk cost'? Never heard of it. Is it relevant? Bloody impertinence, interrupting like that...

    Well, anyway; so much has been blown on this that is it like a bank - too big to fail. It's not our money anyway...well, it is now due to the lucrative perks we've all been getting from our new friends; but again is that relevant?

    Where was I? Oh yes. Not our money. We spent the taxpayer's money and we are going to get those idiots spend it again by getting them to pay for something they've already paid for.

    Will it lower fraud, stop terrorism, cut rape levels? It will do, and I would like to point to the squillions we ave spunked on it as proof of that. People will be able to sleep soundly as they know there's no point in robbing them. They're either now too poor from buying ID cards, or too poor due to a cock up it with the database. can cut that last bit.

    What do you mean it's live? Shut it off! SHUT IT OFF!"

  11. Alpha Tony

    You know...

    ... I think it is time we brought back 'tar and feathering'.

  12. Bear Features

    of course

    We will have them, no matter what. The other EU countries have them so "of course" we have to have them too. There can't be a country called 'Europe' with everybody doing different things now can there.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    So the ID card scheme will pay for itself by charging the cardholders for the cards.


    I'm going for a lie down in a darkened room.

  14. PsychicMonkey

    So what he is saying...

    is that instead of the tax payer paying for them through tax, we'll pay for them by buying them.....

    that'll work......

  15. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    You won't scrap the car and DB without scrapping the government.

    Fortunately that wont be difficult.

    15 days to go.

    BTW Anyone put in an FOI request on how long the chips on these passports are meant to last.. Only I don't think they are good for the full 10 (or is it 25) years of the paper wrapping they will be inside.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Johnson: ID cards will pay for themselves

    Thereby proving that Johnson is a complete idiot.

  17. H2Nick

    Shock ! Horror ! Hold the front page Postman not very numerate

    As soon as you see "self funding" anywhere, you know you will either be paying for something useless (like ID cards) or paying for something previously paid for out of general taxation.

  18. Wokstation

    You can't undo our scheme, you can't!

    It'll be, like, expensive! We've obligated you into spending money whether you scrap it or not, so if you scrap it, you'll be wasting money! Hardly a governmental thing to do, eh?

    Yeah, right. Dirty trick.

  19. Tom Adair

    pay through the nose

    So either the general public pay for the scheme through their taxes, or the general public pay for the scheme by signing up themselves and 'volunteering' their life to the government? What a choice, and further indication that government ministers are so out of touch they think the Treasury prints its own money if they need it for a white elephant, rather than it actually having to come from ordinary people!

  20. Anonymous Coward


    Can we have an image of a singular breast or of a small bird please?

    Vote libdem to play a practical joke on every politician.

  21. BoldMan


    So essentially what he is saying is that since we the taxpaying public pay for this thing twice over (first in taxes, then in fees for getting the card) then its not a "waste"? For gods sake this just means its DOUBLY wasteful!

    Please whoever is in this idiots constituency PLEASE PLEASE vote him out of government!!!

  22. Paul 25

    A curious use of the phrase "pay for itself"

    No Mr Johnson, it will not pay for itself

    We will pay for it.

    It's "voluntary"? Yeah right, try getting by without one in ten years time when every government agency will demand it if you want to do anything.

    If everyone (or most people) in the country have to pay the government then it's a tax, one way or the other.

    "Paying for itself" would indicate that the savings from using it will outweigh the cost. E.g. "This new car will pay for itself in five years through improved fuel efficiency".

    Johnson is one of the (numerous) reasons I will not be voting Labour.

  23. It wasnt me

    That guy is an idiot

    The scheme is self financing, cost the public pays for the cards.

    Right, and the NHS is self financing cos the public pays taxes.

    Fucking idiot.

  24. blackworx

    Oh Dear

    "The money all comes back because we charge for ID cards. If we stop now you've wasted all the capital investment and you get no money back because we will charge for the ID card,"

    Happily, that is the single most convincing argument I've ever heard in support of ID cards/NIR.

  25. Kerberos


    So the public paid billions for the first part of this stupid scheme, and now it's silly to cancel it because it's going to pay for itself by, you guessed it, the public forking over yet more money.

    Send this idiot back to the school system that obviously failed him.

    1. Ted Treen


      Vote UKIP for a joke on every Europe/Unelected Committee loving politician, and if sufficient do so, we just might have a country worth staying in...

    2. Ted Treen
      Thumb Up

      Well said, old lad.

      "Fucking idiot."

      Brief, apt, and captures Johnson perfectly. To a tee.

  26. Chemist

    Cheeky S*d

    "The money all comes back because we charge for ID cards"

    So we have wasted your money unless we are allowed to charge you - at which point, of course, you will (effectively) waste your money on something you don't actual need.

    Politician != logic

  27. richm

    Only 10 fingerprints in Norfolk

    Only 10 fingerprints in Norfolk, the rest of the country presumably will have 8 fingerprints and 2 thumbprints.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What an idiot

    Alan Johnson is such an idiot.

    If "free" ID cards are paid for by the Government that is in fact paid for by us - the taxpayer

    And of ID Cards are charged to the public at the point of use they are also not 'free'. Guess what the same taxpayers have to pay out of thier own pockets, plus a lump to cover all those disadvantaged and fee exempt groups.

    Only in the minds of a politician can any of this crap be free, or even cost neutral. Whichever way you cut it the Government are pissing billions of pounds of my money up the wall on this project. However they choose to rob me - the taxpayer - to pay for it is actually irrelevant.

    Johnson should have stayed a postman. That's his intellectual limit.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    I think UK politicians think that there are infinite monies in circulation at any one time.

    Of course money in circulation is terribly finite and taking a slice out of that has impact on the dosh in circulation. In other words it is a tax but by a different name.

    To Labour: no more of this 1984 doublespeak please. No wonder Nick Clegg and colleagues are attracting attention with apparently increasing charm and vigour.

    (Should Labour return to government I hope this chap is swiftly disrobed of ministerial powers.)

  30. Tom 35 Silver badge

    charging the public for the cards...

    The cards will pay for themselves? Is he daft? The public will pay for the cards, taxes, fees, or paying for a card... it's all the same thing. The money is coming out of the public's pocket, the cards don't pay anything!

    The only way the cards could pay for themselves would be if they saved as much money in other areas as they cost, and there is NO chance of that.

  31. Andrew Taylor
    Thumb Down


    So it won't cost the taxpayer anything because taxpayers will willingly pay for them themselves. Hmm, slight flaw in the argument there I think.

  32. Markus Wallett

    Johnson+position on QinetiQ board

    One thing politicians are excellent at is wasting billions by starting projects as "capital investments," which are essentially gravy trains dreamed up by multinationals and their lobbyist footsoldiers to suck up a once bottomless pit of taxpayer's money. If Johnson wants the ID card scheme to continue, then he can always finance it personally.

  33. Stef 4

    How much?

    £5.3 Billion over a decade...

    Exactly how much are these cards going to cost?

  34. Anonymous Coward

    It says a title is required

    So if I have this correct, th is no longer about any security benefit in going ahead with these accursed things, it's about giving money to a contractor and then "taxing" the already hard pressed electorate further. Excellent G&T's all round......

    Fuck off ID cards, Johnson and the horse they all rode in on.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      If Labour are returned to government... or the other of us will be 'disrobed'. I for one will be trying on for size a new raison d'être.

  35. Ball boy

    Beg your pardon?

    "If we stop now you've wasted all the capital investment" - so we can assume that Johnson will be pushing to restart the investment in the NHS IT (12 Billion and still counting), will he?

    The ID system is flawed from the outset (using existing passports as their 'core' data, for example) and will be as big a flop as the NHS system was predicted to be - government simply can't run projects this size, partly because no one is in a position of responsibility for long enough - and when it does start to smell and look remarkably like a lemon, the department head finds the nearest revolving door and gets a safe position on the board of some Corporation that needs the ear of Government.

    Please, everyone: stop these people before it's too late. Our way of life is at stake here and, while we can't control things like the unplesant weather we get in the UK sometimes, we *can* control who's responsible for policy and spending.

    Epic fail.

  36. Anonymous Coward

    If they'll pay for themselves

    why bother charging?

    Oh, I see. He means that WE will pay for them.

    Alan, do us all a favour and piss off.

  37. Iain 4

    Well, he's sort of right

    Johnson is correct on one aspect. Neither the Lib Dems nor the Conservatives can recoup £5Bn of budget by scrapping the cards.

    Partly because Labour have ensured that the current contracts pay out to their mates at EDS and Capita whether a product is delivered or not, but mainly because the money isn't allocated - 'all' you achieve by scrapping the cards is closing up a £5Bn black hole in Home Office finances, not reduce the planned budget by that.

  38. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    Go, Alan, Go!

    We need more of this kind of explanations just before the elections! Make sure only absolute numpties and those sitting on benefits vote for Labour.

  39. Maurice Shakeshaft

    Revealed, at last.

    ID Cards will be mandatory.

    There is no way, without effective compulsion, that the ID card and NID can be made to be consumer cost neutral. It should be called an "ID Tax" not and ID Card. The compulsion will come in the form of denial of access to public and private services. Public services you pay, and have paid, for through your taxes and private services that you need to live such as bank account access.

    I look forward to some honesty from the Conservative and New Labour politicians now. I'm ever the optimist.

    It is very hard for me to say this but ID Cards and The NIDB may be why I change my vote on 5 May.

  40. scrubber

    Pay for itself?

    Either the government pays or we do....

    Do they not realise everything the government 'pays' for is actually paid by us anyway?

    This is the mindset people get into when they have been in government too long.

    Get shot of them!

  41. Ken 16 Silver badge

    No, no - not your OWN card

    You'll only have to pay for the extra cards in other peoples names - a pub distribution list is being set up now and they'll be priced to allow resale at a profit.

  42. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Rt. Hon. Addict MP

    Perhaps Johnson should be talking to Gamblers Anonymous - I'm sure they've had much experience in the, "I've thrown so much money away that I cannot do anything but keep throwing money away in the hope I recoup my losses", excuses.

    In fact, Neu Labour seemingly has all the hallmarks of addicts or mental derangement; they get some 'bright idea' into their heads then bulldoze it through, ignoring opposition, all the while claiming what they do is best for everyone. Even when they can see it's wrong or won't work they still insist on carrying through to the bitter end (which for them will hopefully will be just a few week's time).

  43. Scott 19

    New tach

    Its new from the ivory tower lot if its cost lots of money once the projects started lets not stop it cause its a waste of money.

    My logical senses tell me if you didn't start these stupid projects you'd save even more money but why worry when its the 9 to 5 lot that have to pay for it.

    MP's wasting your money in ways you wouldn't get in Hollywood.


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