Thursday, February 02, 2006

The Home Office - liars or idiots?

Yesterday: the Home Office is told off for dodgy accounting - "It is disappointing that the Home Office had not maintained proper financial books and records"

Today: the self-same Home Office that can't keep tabs on its own accounts announces wildly implausible "identity fraud" figures designed to make ID cards look sensible: "At £35 per person, the estimated annual cost was greater than that of planned compulsory national identity cards, [Home Office Minister Andy Burnham] told BBC Radio 4's Today programme."

Why, precisely, should we pay any attention to any figures the Home Office ever produces?

Update: As if by magic, an analysis of the figures appears

"In fact, the costs to the state of fraudulent identity, where compulsory provision of a card would definitely save money - unpaid fines, police time taken in checking backgrounds, social security fraud etc. runs to a hundred million, maybe two, at best. And plenty of that might be saved if the government tightened its own security procedures, as proven in the tax credit fraud fiasco."
Go read.

Udate 2: DK goes off on one with a number of pertinent points, while the Hamster and the Longrider also lay in with numbers and such. All good stuff.

4 Comments:

Blogger Chris Williams said...

And what, pray, are they defining as 'identity fraud'? If it's someone taking my debit card number off a reciept and abusing it for a short period of time to buy stuff online, then how the hell is an ID card and the NIR going to stop that?

Of course we could put a (99.99% reliable but nevertheless safely encrypted) thumbprint reader or iris scanner on every computer sold in the UK. Which would work, oh yes.

2/02/2006 11:56:00 am  
Anonymous Chris Applegate said...

Those figures do look dodgy - I've given them a bit of a going-over on my own blog.

2/02/2006 01:35:00 pm  
Anonymous tom p said...

"or"? don't you mean "and"?

2/02/2006 05:35:00 pm  
Blogger Justin said...

I love this story. "Burglary on the increase says burglar alarm salesman".

You would have thought, with legions ready to pounce on his every word, Burnham would pick his battles a little more wisely.

2/02/2006 10:47:00 pm  

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