back to article Gov will pay £2.25m compo to ID card suppliers

The cost of compensating suppliers after the scrapping of the ID card scheme is likely to hit £2.25m, Home Office Damian Green has confirmed. Green disclosed the figure in a letter to former Labour Home Secretary and erstwhile ID card enthusiast David Blunkett, the Daily Telegraph reports. On top of the payments of £2.25m to …


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  1. Martin 19

    Typical political scumbaggery

    Complaining about the cost of the break clauses in contracts that Blunkett himself signed up to.

    1. hplasm Silver badge

      Complain about it?

      He should bloody pay for it; pocket change from expenses, probably.

    2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Leads me to wonder...

      ...does Blunkett have any financial interests in any of the companies which were contracted to manage the ID cards, and if so, are those companies receiving compensation? Such conflicts of interests shouldn't be allowed, in my opinion, but I bet they are...

      1. Mike Richards Silver badge

        Why yes he does

        In 2007, David Blunkett registered he had a financial interest in a Texan company called Entrust which was bidding for work on the British card:

        Blinky also seems to be having memory problems:

        'Blunkett seeks 'end to ID cards'

        'Former Home Secretary David Blunkett says the government should scrap plans to introduce ID cards for all in favour of mandatory biometric passports.'

        But look on the bright side, Shagger Blunkett was being spied on by News International at the same time he was being paid to write his column for 'The Sun'. Apparently he's outraged by the intrusion on his privacy.

        Personally I feel sorry for the dog.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    A small price to pay for the death of the scheme. Besides, it's just money into the economy.

  3. Gerrit Hoekstra

    400K to scrap data - What kind of system was this?

    This clearly demonstrates that our personal data was not adequately managed and raises the question whether these so-called IT suppliers are even entitled to compo. What would the resulting system have looked like, had common sense not prevailed in scrapping it?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You see

    "Just developing the "policy, legislation and business case" attracted a £41m price tag."

    And we wonder why this country is so wrapped up in red tape when we support the industries that makes this stuff up with as much money as they can stand being thrown at them.

    Better off investing in sci/tech industry, they might at least come up with something that people will want.

  5. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    Seeing as hardly anybody in the UK supported the ID card project...

    Wouldn't it be wonderful if these so called "intelligent" politicians, who supposedly represent the majority interests of the electorate, could be held accountable for these costs and made to repay the country in full.

    I guess the only mitigation is that Blunkett couldn't possibly have read what he was signing.

  6. schnide
    Thumb Up

    Thank you, Reg..

    ..for exposing the hypocrisy about this on Blunkett's part.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Because he can't see! OH I SEE ITS FUNNY!

      "I guess the only mitigation is that Blunkett couldn't possibly have read what he was signing."

      Bit below the belt there mate.

    2. The Fuzzy Wotnot


      This "economy", it wouldn't be a euphemism for, "the pockets of the directors of services companies" would it?

      Incidentally I suspect they're probably mates with Blunkett and knew damn well this this bird wouldn't fly and just waited for the compo payments to roll back in after it got scrapped!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        The economy

        It's money into the wrong industry yes, but still the econony.

    3. Jim Morrow

      it's not Blunkett's fault

      He couldn't have read the contract. But his guide dog did.

      1. Cunningly Linguistic

        His guide dog...

        ...probably thought up the whole ID card scheme

        1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge
          Thumb Down

          @ Cunningly Linguistic

          Sorry, had to downvote you - most dogs are not stupid enough to come up with the who fiasco. This could only have been done by a human...

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      400K to do the job right

      Not just tip the drives into the nearest skip.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Could have got any dogsbody

        to do a proper job with a lump hammer and a screwdriver.

        As a willing dogsbody I'd have done it for free.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 2.25m

      "Besides, it's just money into the economy."

      That's an example of the Broken Window Fallacy:

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    I need say nothing..

    .. I refer you to one of the best comments ever posted on this esteemed site regarding ID Cards. Applies equally to Blunkett.

    seanj - It gets better every time I read it, thanks!

  8. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. seanj

      Re: I need say nothing.

      Thank you. I was going to post another comment about the frantic renegotiations in the last days of Labour leading to this cost of compensation, but like you say, it applies equally here.

  9. FordPrefect

    So compo for the businesses involved..

    but none of the people who purchased one? The government justification for not compensating people who bought a card was that they were aware that a different government would scrap the ID card register and make there cards null and void. However when it comes to businesses the same doesnt apply? Typical from this shower currently in government.

    1. Dr. Mouse Silver badge


      The people who bought a card knew a different govt would scrap them, and knew they would not be compensated if that happened.

      The companies involved also knew a different govt would scrap them, so ensured they would not be out of pocket by putting clauses in the contract to cover this eventuality.

      To give you an example, I once took a 6-month contract with a company the other end of the country. To do this, I rented a flat, which required a 6-month lease. When negotiating my contract with the company, I made them put in a clause which would cover paying out the landlord if they got rid of me before the 6-month period. These clauses are fairly standard throughout business.

      However, in this case I see a more sinister reasoning. Blunket negotiates a large cancellation clause as insurance for himself. He knows Labour is unlikely to win the next election. When they loose, and the next govt decides to scap the project, he can point out how much money the govt is spending just to get out of the contracts, quietly ignoring how much money will be saved by doing so.

    2. Tom 35 Silver badge

      what they say

      "The government justification for not compensating people who bought a card was..."

      that anyone who bought one is a stupid fool.

  10. bluetacky
    Big Brother

    Death of Police State ... or is it?

    Any price is a small price for personal freedom. UK quickly becoming a "police state", What with spy cameras all over the place and microphones hidden in lampposts so they can eavesdrop on conversations. Litter police, council spies going through our dustbins, offering rewards to the people to report one another "Statzie style. While all along the politicians are filling their coffers through dubious expenses claims and scams.

  11. Red Bren

    Why is compensation due?

    The companies that signed these contracts knew the scale of opposition to the scheme and that the project was doomed unless new labour could defy the odds and win the last election.

    The contracts should have been declared void, purely on the basis of these unfair cancellation clauses. Any company that claims compensation should be blacklisted from future government projects.

    Nothing will kill off any hope of resurrecting this hated scheme than massive financial losses inflicted on those who got involved last time.

  12. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge


    That Blunkett fella, he must be blind as well as stupid.

  13. Neil Charles

    So Mr. Blunkett

    If I choose to dump an enormous pile of horse manure outside your front door and then run away, the cost of having it removed will be your fault and not mine.

  14. Anonymous Coward

    Job for the boy

    Poor Blunkett - I'm sure his whinge about money down the drain has absolutely no connection with his employment by Entrust, the provider to various European ID card schemes, previously pitching for a snout in the UK ID card trough:

  15. Miek

    Compo? For what?

    What's there to compensate them for? System disbanded; Goodbye suppliers.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    £2.25m seems fair

    probably just about covered the suppliers bidding costs.

    Oh well, back to the old passport, or drivers licence, birth certificate and 3 utility bills everytime I want to prove who I am again. What you need my NHS/NI number? fuck!

  17. Oli 1

    urm... WHAT?

    "Blunkett argued there was no need to destroy the data, as it could have been integrated into biometric passports"

    Are you f**king kidding me?

    Someone drown this man please, that is all.

  18. Anonymous Coward

    Bring back surcharging

    Given that the last administration rushed through a load of contracts for ID cards, hence why the companies need compensation for terminating contracts, can we bring back surcharging (like shirley porter got)?, and present the previous ministers with the bill?

    Especially as Charles Clarke ignored advise from the LSE and 100 experts in the releveant subjects.

  19. Captain Mainwaring

    Well, look on the bright side Mr Blunkett....

    At least the nation now won't have to shell out the 5 Billion quid your government said it would cost to roll out the National Identity Card scheme.

    Viewed in that light, the 2.25 million pound cancellation charges seem quite a bargain.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Nothing new there then.

    Leeds wasted about the same on inner-city tram and tramline that does not exist.

    I suppose a bigger question might be: what to do when public spend is wasted on a project?

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