ID cards will cost typical family of four £1,000 over 10 years, MPs warn

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Families could face a bill of up to £1,000 to prove their identity over 10 years under government plans for ID cards, MPs have warned.

They called on the Government to come clean over the true cost of identity cards as they accused ministers of underestimating the cost to individuals and the taxpayer.

They warned that the average family - with two teenagers - would pay a one-off cost of almost £400 to get ID cards, which could rise to £1,000 over 10 years.

Mark Oaten, the Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman, warned that people would not only have to foot the cost of a new card if they lost it, but also if it wears out or if their facial characteristics changed, including going bald.

Baroness Scotland, a Home Office minister, last week told peers that ID cards would cost the Home Office £584m a year. The Government has yet to produce figures for the cost to other departments.

"The Government's official figures are just the tip of the iceberg. The hidden cost of ID cards could double from the official figures," Mr Oaten said. "It's time for the Government to be more open about the real cost to taxpayers."

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