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Passports: Biometrics

Volume 461: debated on Wednesday 20 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what percentage of the (a) capital costs and (b) running costs of the National Identity scheme he estimates will be required in order to implement the biometric passport scheme to cover all ports of entry into the UK. (135830)

The estimated cost of introducing passports and ID cards over the next 10 years was published in the Identity Cards scheme costs report which was laid before Parliament on 10 May 2007. However, it was not possible to provide a separate figure for the cost of implementing biometric passports from that of the National Identity scheme as a whole, as many of the costs are applicable to both identity cards and passports.

The Identity Cards scheme costs report also excluded any costs falling to other organisations using passports or ID cards to verify identity. Nevertheless, the Border and Immigration Agency already has equipment in place at the major ports to read facial image biometric e-passports.