£130 Million wasted in yet another “quick fix” Labour initiative!

Three years ago the Labour government announced that the UK Passport & Identity Service (part of the Home Office) had estimated that 10,000 false passports were issued every year. This was, they said, unacceptable and a new procedure which would see all new applicants face an in-depth interview before they were given a passport. The expectation was that the interview scheme would gradually be extended as and when National Identity Cards came in so as to include existing passport holders.

Well, the  has just released – quietly – the result of the first two years of operation. In that time, and remember they estimated 10,000 false passports were issued every year, they disclose that there were only 87 false applications. They also disclosed that the total cost of the operation was £130 million or some £1.5 million for every false application.

Value for money? Hardly. Given that the UK Border Agency who check passports when you come into this country is short staffed and could do with extra equipment perhaps that £130 million could have been used to fund them. They could have done with a few more people on duty at Stanstead Airport when I arrived there on Monday night. It took almost an hour to get through what used to be called “Passport Control”.

Of course this whole initiative, like so many others, is done in the name of fighting “the war on terror” but does this really stand up to even a cursory investigation? The fact is that all the terrorist attacks in the UK in recent years were either carried out by UK nationals who had every right to have a passport and who were known in their communities, or by foreign nationals who would not be interviewed by the UK authorities because they didn’t want or need a UK passport.

So what was the point? Another pathetic attempt to try and convince the British public that the Labour Government was doing something useful? I know what I think.

See also What Was the Point of IR35?

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One Response to “Yet Another Costly Labour Flop”

  1. squiggie says:

    I see today that it would appear that the British government is in default of EU law in the matter of its eBorder programme. Why does the UK government have such a concern which is not only unreasonable but also illegal? Gordon Brown seems not to be able to connect with the realities of life. I pity you.

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