ID Cards push fees to £140M

James Lyons writes in the Daily Mirror:

Identity cards have sent government spending on City experts and consultants rocketing to £140million, figures revealed yesterday. It represents a 46% rise on the £96million of taxpayers’ cash the Home Office spent in the previous 12 months.

Officials admitted much of the work was on the controversial ID cards scheme with PA Consulting, the firm most heavily involved, paid £24.5million, up from £8.4million.

Deloitte & Touche, which was brought in to try to make ID cards work, pocketed £21million, almost three times the £7.7million the previous year. And Ernst & Young received £13.8million for working on the National Identity Scheme, which covers new biometric passports as well as the cards.

Shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling, who unearthed the figures, called on ministers to drop the £5billion project, saying the money could be better spent putting bobbies on the beat.