Australian
journos missed a good contribution to the ID card debate last week from the UK’s new
Conservative Party leader David Cameron. On
Monday, the House of Lords voted to reject the scheme until the full costs are
known. That gave Cameron his cue.

The Tory
leader laid into Tony Blair in Prime Minister’s Question Time, using the London
School of Economics report on the British
proposals that warns the scheme will cost between 10bn and 19bn pounds over ten years
if the government follows its original plans.

“With
rising deficits in the NHS, huge costs of pension reform and tighter pressures
on public spending, how can you claim that spending at least 600m pounds a year on
your ID cards scheme is a good use of public money?” Cameron asked.

He
warned that the plan risks ending up as a “monument to the failure of big
government.” John
Howard, alas, likes big government.

Peter Fray

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