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Oldham among first offered ID card

Reporter: OUR LOBBY CORRESPONDENT
Date online: 06 May 2009

OLDHAMERS will be the first people able to apply for a ID card, it was announced today.

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said Greater Manchester has been chosen to launch the controversial scheme.

It will mean that all British citizens across the 10 council areas, who hold a valid UK or child passport and are over the age of 16, will be able to apply for a card, which will cost £30.

Oldham East and Saddleworth MP Phil Woolas said: “There are major advantages of having a single identity card.

“This is a voluntary scheme and it would replace up to six other documents. It is not compulsory to carry them. The evidence from the young people’s ID cards is that they were very popular.

“The fact is that they will save the tax payer money in the long run.”

But Oldham West and Royton MP Michael Meacher has long opposed the scheme.

He said: “I am opposed to identity cards, it will cost £5 billion. I do not think it will be a way of stopping terrorists or criminals, or people who are cheating social security. I wonder what the purpose of the card is.

“Given the Government intends to build a support database checking on all our communications, I wonder if it is more about checking on all of us rather than on serious criminals.

“Everyone is in favour of stopping criminals and terrorists but this is not a cost effective way of doing so.

“This is voluntary so it’s up to people in Oldham if they want to take part, I would oppose any mandatory scheme.”

The city’s airport is also working with the Identity and Passport Service (IPS) as one of the first wave of airports which are introducing ID cards to airside workers from this autumn.

Ms Smith said: “ID cards will deliver real benefits to everyone, including increased protection against criminals, illegal immigrants and terrorists.”

She added: “Our next steps will be for other cities to follow Manchester’s lead before full national coverage from 2012.

“This phased approach will ensure that card coverage occurs hand in hand with the development of supporting technology such as chip and pin readers.”

Comments

another day,another tax

£60 for a voluntary id card? Cant see there being much of a queue for that somehow.

But criminals, illegal immigrants and terrorists won't be applying for voluntary ID cards! And after the general election next year it is highly likely the Tories will be in power and they have pledged to scrap them. So what is the point of paying £30 for a northern ID card of no real use - except to prop up the leg of a rickety table.

just like the con tax throw this other nu labour tax back in their faces.
i have a perfectly good drivers licence and passport which i've already had to pay for. im not paying for another!

if the government had been strict on immigration in the first place we wouldnt need such a scheme.

as usual we're paying for their incompetance!

With the governments record of keeping personal information secure the ID card system will be a godsend to terrorists and neer do wells

Why not enforce this on the people who claim benefits???

So all you need is a fraudulent passport and you can get an ID card which will then lead to any benefit you require, another great idea by the Government

Recession, redundancies-I'm sure the people of Manchester will be more than willing to buy a card.

I'm also sure that criminals etc will have no problem in copying them-whatever you bring out they will copy.

The government want to start checking all the fraudulent National-Insurance cards currently used to claim benefits.

welcome to the "New world Order"

I still have my ID card from 1940, when England was still England. Now thanks to uncontrolled immigration, especially under Labour, and the fact that nobody knows who should or should not be here, they've decided, once more, to try and punish the innocent. Well, I'm sorry. No, not really. I don't feel the need to prove who I am - I survived the blackout. Let them identify all foreigners first. They can't, of course, and it won't happen.

The fact that Woolas says 'they will save the taxpayer money in the long run', is reason enough to reject the whole madcap scheme. How will it save us money? If you have a valid passport, that is good enough. How is spending thirty quid saving us anything? It's just another tax. The twerp says,'There are major advantages of having a single ID card.' Name seven!! Which evidence shows young peoples ID cards are popular? I hate to agree with Meacher, but he is right. Listen to him.

I am surprised that your 'Lobby Correspondent'(!) did not do a better job of reporting this story.
Will existing Benefits claimants be eligible for free or reduced-price cards? Where & when can we get them?

 

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