In response to the suggestion that when the scheme was originally announced in April 2004 terrorism was the first reason given for the plan and that today it was the last of the reasons the PMOS said that he did not think that you actually broke down reasons for supporting a proposal in quite as simplistic a way as was being suggested. Was identity fraud a real issue for individuals in terms of their concerns about protecting their identity? Yes. Was there real concern about using new technology to stop abuse of the NHS and other public services? Yes. Were there concerns and did benefit fraud cost this country £50 million a year? Yes. Was there real concern about they way in which organised crime cost this country and the way in which terrorism could cost this country? Answer: Yes. If you took all those factors together, each equally important, and you put them all together then that made the case about why we believed it was in the individual’s security interests and in the country’s security interests as a whole to take advantage of new technology that would help you counter each of those factors.
Asked why costs had risen 9% in six months, the PMOS said 70% of the cost was what would be necessary for biometric testing, which was already now necessary for passports. 80% of us used passports and we would need to have that biometric technology to be able to gain access to the EU and the United States. In terms of the costs, obviously they would be kept under review and we would pare them down as much as possible. However, we believed the extra cost would be marginal in those terms and we believed it was worth it in terms of the advantages that it would bring to people. The PMOS referred journalists to the Home Office for any further detail on cost. In response to the suggestion that you would not have to have a national database just for passports, the PMOS said that you would still need a national databank because you would have to have the capability with passports to check iris and fingerprints against that databank. 70% of the cost of ID would be what also went on passports and we should not forget that 80% of us had passports.
Briefing took place at 15:45 | Search for related news
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