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Monday, June 27, 2005
Buying IT for ID

Thank goodness for the LSE and its report on what the cost for ID cards is likely to be. If I had a vote on the matter, I would say that even they will be wildly under. Leaving aside the issue of the cards themselves and whether they will work, this is the worst form of government program for taxpayers:

1) It's a grand vision.
2) It's not been thought through.
3) It's going to demand endless "consultation" between bureaucrat and bureaucrat.
4) It's monolithic without competition to control costs.
5) It's self-serving - once in, it will be all to easy to protect its raison d'etre and find new reasons for spending more money on it.

How much simpler to create a simple rule: should the agents of state believe that you are doing something which may be a threat to the safety of others you must show who you are and where you live. We can let the courts decide the limits to the state's suspicions under common law rules using juries to refine grey areas, and we can let individual agencies publish their requirements on i/d from existing methods, whether that be a passport, a driving licence or a gas bill.

The taxpayer needs protection from any legislation that purports to "fix" complex issues with a monolithic solution - they all cost a fortune, do not work, and grow in cost through time.

Eben Wilson: Editorial Director - The Taxpayers' Alliance

Posted by Matthew Elliott | Permanent Link

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