ID cards cost £2m to decommission

More than £2.25m will be paid to compensate private firms after the Government abandoned the ID card scheme, in one of the first acts of the Coalition. Up to £400,000 will also have to be spent on decommissioning the systems and destroying personal data.

The Immigration minister, Damian Green, revealed the figures in a letter to David Blunkett, the former home secretary, after a question on the issue.

Mr Blunkett said: "We are looking here at £2.25m which has been thrown away for no purpose whatsoever. If identity cards and the work that had been done had been maintained, people would have been able to choose to continue using the card as a passport for domestic and European travel."

Thousands of people issued with the £30 cards will receive no compensation.