Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Billions wasted on ID card scheme

11 May, 2007

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Public Accountability, Upper Bann MLA John O'Dowd has said the money squandered so far by the British Government on a new ID card is a scandal and that the proposed ID card is an infringement on civil liberties.

Mr O'Dowd said:

"Its is estimated that the cost so far of the controversial ID card scheme being introduced by the British Government has now gone over the £5 billion mark . That is nothing short of scandalous and a waste of public money.

"We see on a daily basis our health services, schools, youth services, community and voluntary organisations all struggling and competing for an ever decreasing pot of funds to provide core frontline services. Yet billions of pounds can be squandered and attempts made to bury the story on the day Tony Blair announced his resignation.

"The British Government cannot be let of the hook on this one. Their track record on delivering any similar computerised scheme, for example the Tax Credits system, has already proven to be deeply flawed. I wouldn't trust the government to introduce this measure in a sensible confidential manner. Any system the government has introduced involving technology in the past few years has been a total shambles.

"These proposed ID cards are an infringement on civil liberties and smacks of a big brother society. This project should be scrapped immediately and the money directed to where it's needed across a wide range of public services." ENDS

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