The Home Office needs to provide £1.5m funding for the new e-crime coordination unit, says a House of Lords select committee.
The rest of the £4.5m needed to support the plan could then be sourced from elsewhere.
'If the Home Office provide £1.5m then the rest could be found from the EU and other sources,' said committee member Lord Erroll .
A central unit to fight online crime is vital. At the momment the internet is a 'wild west' where criminals operate outside the the law and users fear e-crime more than mugging, says the report published today.
The government's laissez-faire attitude is 'inefficient and unrealistic', it says.
'The government can put in place incentives for the private sector to up their game,' said committee chairman Lord Broers.
'And they can invest in better data protection and law enforcement.
'It’s time to act now, before it’s too late,' he said.
The report also criticises the decision to allow banks to be the first point for reporting e-crime, and calls for legislation to hold banks liable for personal e-crime losses.
Laws that require organisations to tell their customers when a breach has occurred were also recommended, in line with the situation in the US.
The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) supports a more joined-up approach from government, but warns against forcing firms to publish details of attacks.
'Whilst appealing on the surface, new rules such as a data security breach notification law, or increased liabilities on internet service providers and software providers, need to be treated with caution, says the CBI.