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UK ID Card scheme records yet another rise says report

Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, has promised that the price of ID Cards will be kept under £30 but it looks almost certain that the final bill is set to increase according to a bi-annual report published on Tuesday.

The cost of setting up the National ID project for the next ten years will rise from £245m to £335m, a 37 percent, partly due to the fact that a faster rollout is envisaged by 2012.

The overall cost of the decade-long rollout has been shaved by almost a billion pounds, falling to £4.57bn; due partly to the fact that private companies will be involved and the passport-renewal system has been streamlined.

The report also highlighted that the production and delivery of the ID cards and passports would account for two fifths of the project's costs with a regional office network, the business and programme management and the technology infrastructure roughly counting for one sixth of the total expenditures each.

However, some, like the Register, have been very critical of the ID Scheme pointing to the fact that the cost reduction came through "creative accounting and merrily chucking biometrics off into the middle distance in the hope that somebody will catch", a belief that anti identity card scheme group No2ID firmly backs as well.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.