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Andy Burnham's "£1.7 billon identity fraud" figure is as false as the previous £1.3 billion one

We expect another onslaught of Government spin and disinformation over their new "soundbite" figure of "£1.7 billion for identity fraud" , which is being falsely spun as some sort of justification for the billions to be spent on the National Identity Register ID Card scheme.

The "detailed" breakdown of the £1.7 billion figure is online at:

Updated Estimate of the Cost of Identity Fraud to the UK Economy, 2 February 2006

This is as bad as the discredited 2002 Cabinet Office figure of £1.3 billion !

Even where the notes to the figures say "we have no idea how much of this figure is due to identity fraud", the whole figure has been added up to compile the supposed £1.7 billion figure !

They have actually had to repeat some of the same vague figures from the 2002 report, "for comparison", for want of anything else e.g. £395 million for Money Laundering, and £215 million for MITC (Missing Trader Intra-Community) fraud. It can be argued that such mostly international frauds do not even represent a loss to the UK economy, but a net gain.

As if by magic, a figure of £372 million has appeared under the heading of "Telecommunications", which did not appear in the 2002 report. How exactly was this large figure arrived at, and by whom ?

They are also including the estimated costs of enforcement measures in various departments like for driving tests, or the Police, which would remain as fixed overhead costs, even after the introduction of a perfect ID Card scheme. e.g. the £62.8 million "The cost to UKPS of measures to counter identity
fraud when processing applications for UK passports issued in the UK."

This fixed overhead cost will not be reduced by the proposed Identity Cards scheme, it will in fact be increased by at least the alleged £584 million a year running costs of the NIR (according to the Home Office's Regulatory Impact Assessment). i.e. the ID Cards scheme, would, according to this analysis actually increase the cost to the UK economy to over £2.3 billion a year !

These "identity fraud" figures are totally inadequate, and are another insult to the intelligence of anyone who looks at them.

Where are the actual crime statistics on the numbers of "identity fraud" crimes actually committed, the number of criminals involved, and the number of actual victims, and the amount of money they have actually lost ?

Where is the evidence of the alleged improvements since 2002 e.g. the secure passport delivery via courier rather than by post and the whole "Chip and PIN" system which was not yet in place in 2002 ?

Andy Burnham. the former spin doctor, is the Home Office Minister in charge of Home Office research. Why did he not commission a proper scientific , quantitative study ?


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Andy Burnham's "£1.7 billon identity fraud" figure is as false as the previous £1.3 billion one:

» Identity Frauds from Talk Politics
Like Spyblog, I noticed Home Office Minister, Andy Burnham, out and about yesterday on the breakfast TV circuit hawking the government’s latest ‘research’ into the supposed costs of identity fraud. The news is, of course, ‘bad’ – it always is when the ... [Read More]

» NO2ID lobby against the Identity Cards Bill 2005 - Monday 13th February 2006 from Spy Blog
This Monday the 13th February 2006, the House of Commons will be debating the Lords' Amendments to the controversial Identity Cards Bill 2005. The cross party NO2ID Campaign will be lobbying their MPs: NO2ID and Liberty will be holding an... [Read More]


I've just read the identitytheft.org document. It is truly breathtaking in the level of filth being pedalled - it is BULLSHIT of the highest order and deserves a mention in the Guiness Book of Records. I work in the private sector, and if I presented a document such as that to my superiors I would be in grave danger of the sack. How they have the nerve to make such assertions just beggars belief. Do they think the whole population is just plain thick or something!

Even within the public sector, such a dubious "justification" for a multi-billion pound project would be an anathama to many people.

One expects NuLabour politicians like Andy Burnham, to be spinning this "£1.7 billion" figure.

However, astonishigly, the Conservative MP Nigel Evans, Chairman of the All Party Identity Fraud Group does not seem to have read or understood the documents about the 2002 £1.3 billion or the 2006 £1.7 billion figure.

New Figures Show “Very Real Threat Of Identity Fraud” press release.

He simply repeats the Government's figures, without any analysis, as if they were true:

"Nigel Evans MP, Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Identity Fraud, today welcomed the publication of new figures showing that the economic cost of identity fraud had risen from £1.3bn a year in 2002, to £1.7bn a year.

Commenting on the new figures, Mr Evans said: “These new figures show just how serious the growing issue of identity fraud has become. With a £400m increase in the economic cost of this crime, we all must wake up to the very real threat of identity fraud.

“I welcome the publication of these new figures as they help to show the public that this is an extremely serious issue that they must take action to prevent.

Fraud is serious, and the public should be encouraged to take precautions, but an Opposition Conservative MP should be critically examining the dubious figures spun by the NuLabour Home Office in support of the controversial Identity Cards Bill.

Yes, it was the same on the BBC Ten O'Clock News last night (2nd Feb). Home Affairs correspondent Margaret Gilmore did a sterling job in pushing the government case, stating at one point that ID theft costs everyone in the country ÂŁ35 per year, implying that an ID card would be good value for money. She then shredded a piece of A4 with the words ÂŁ1.7 billion on it, in a display of banality that is now, regrettably, the hall mark of BBC News.

NuLabour is getting away with murder, and the media, especially the BBC are encouraging it. Here was an ideal opportunity (as was the Radio 4 Today interview in the morning with that daft git from Leigh - Andy Burnham) to put them on the spot with an analysis of those bogus figures, but no, they didn't grasp it.

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