Andrew Porter / London Telegraph | July 7, 2008

The cost of Britain’s “surveillance society” measures is now running at £20 billion, a new report reveals today.

The amount is equivalent to £800 per household and includes £19 billion for the planned ID card system and £500 million for CCTV cameras.

The report by the TaxPayers’ Alliance was highlighted by David Davis, the former shadow home secretary, who stands in a by-election this week on the issue of civil liberties. Mr Davis resigned as an MP after the opposition failed to defeat Government plans to hold terrorism suspects for 42 days.

Mr Davis said: “This is yet further damning evidence of Big Brother’s expensive tastes. ID cards, CCTV, the DNA database and other measures are a huge waste of taxpayers’ money on policies that undermine freedom and are utterly ineffective in fighting crime or terrorism.

“At the same time, the Government has failed to deal robustly with extremists and terrorists, like Abu Hamza. Yet again, this government penalise the innocent, and is a soft touch for the guilty.”

Abu Hamza’s extradition was requested in 2004 by the United States, where he is wanted for terrorism offences.

But despite being convicted of a number of charges in Britain two years ago, he has still not been deported. The cost to taxpayers is estimated at £2.75 million in welfare payments, council housing, NHS bills, trials and legal appeals.

Full article here.

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