Plans to create a nationwide database of electors are to be abandoned, the Government has announced.
The Co-ordinated Online Record of Electors (Core) was intended to make it easier for political parties to verify donors’ legitimacy.
However, the provisions of the 2006 Electoral Administration Act were never started and it will now be repealed.
The database, which would have been administered by a new independent public body, would have cost an estimated £11.4 million to build and £2.7 million a year to run.
Constitutional Reform Minister Mark Harper said: “The costs of building and running the database are disproportionate to its potential benefits.
“Continuing with plans to create Core would be at odds with the Government’s commitment to rolling back the state and ensuring we are always getting value for money for the taxpayer.”
Core was intended to provide a single source of electoral registration information, mainly to help parties who are required to provide information on the status of a potential donor’s entry in the electoral register.
The Cabinet Office said council electoral officers are already required to supply a version of the register to political parties on request and this will remain.
The Government will work with the Electoral Commission watchdog and others to consider less costly ways to improve provision of registration information.
John Turner, of the Association of Electoral Administrators, said: “This is a sensible and logical step to take in the light of the Government’s proposals to move towards a scheme for the introduction of individual electoral registration within the next three years.”