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Abolishing ID cards is expensive & interferes with people’s liberties

Comment 1st July 2010

Ask anyone from most European countries who have been travelling on ID cards for years, and they will tell you that it is madness that Britain wants to get rid of them. This is like introducing the debit card as a replacement for the cheque book then banning it because it takes 10 years for people to get used to the idea and people come up with paranoid ideas about the State monitoring you through the debit cards. News flash. Passports are the same thing as ID cards, they store your details on a database. They are exactly the same except they are bigger.

As someone who travels frequently and who has purchased an ID card, the government is infringing on my liberties by taking away this convenience. I don’t have to remember to pack it unlike a passport and it is very small and convenient. What is more scrapping ID cards is very expensive because the billions spent will have to be spent again once the country comes to it’s senses and the programme is rerun.

Ask anyone from most European countries who have been travelling on ID cards for years, and they will tell you that it is madness that Britain wants to get rid of them. This is like introducing the debit card as a replacement for the cheque book then banning it because it takes 10 years for people to get used to the idea and people come up with paranoid ideas about the State monitoring you through the debit cards. News flash. Passports are the same thing as ID cards, they store your details on a database. They are exactly the same except they are bigger.

As someone who travels frequently and who has purchased an ID card, the government is infringing on my liberties by taking away this convenience. I don’t have to remember to pack it unlike a passport and it is very small and convenient. What is more scrapping ID cards is very expensive because the billions spent will have to be spent again once the country comes to it’s senses and the programme is rerun.

Ask anyone from most European countries who have been travelling on ID cards for years, and they will tell you that it is madness that Britain wants to get rid of them. This is like introducing the debit card as a replacement for the cheque book then banning it because it takes 10 years for people to get used to the idea and people come up with paranoid ideas about the State monitoring you through the debit cards. News flash. Passports are the same thing as ID cards, they store your details on a database. They are exactly the same except they are bigger.

As someone who travels frequently and who has purchased an ID card, the government is infringing on my liberties by taking away this convenience. I don’t have to remember to pack it unlike a passport and it is very small and convenient. What is more scrapping ID cards is very expensive because the billions spent will have to be spent again once the country comes to it’s senses and the programme is rerun.

Why does this matter?

8 reasons not to abolish ID cards:

1. National ID cards can be used as a passport to travel in the European Union and a future iteration of the card could be a ‘Passport card’ which could be used to travel the world. A passport in your wallet is a convenience for the people of Britain.

2. A National ID card or ‘Passport card’ can act as a backup to a passport, should you lose one of the documents.

3. Almost every other European country issues it’s citizens with a national ID card and most people are happy to have the convenience of such a card.

4. It has been argued that the ID cards are intrusive because they mean that personal data is stored on a database and they contain biometric information. Passports, bank accounts, tax records etc. all mean that personal data is stored in a database so why are ID cards special in this regard. It would be perfectly possibly to remove the biometric aspects of the card if this offends certain people and still retail a National ID card or ‘Passport card’.

5. The government argues that it is scrapping ID cards because of the cost. Billion have already been spent on the programme. If this is programme is scrapped it is likely that in subsequent years the country will adopt the same type of cards as other European countries, and that the public will realise the benefits of a ‘Passport card’ and that such cards will be reinstated. This will result in the billions of pounds of your and my money spend on the project costs having to be spent again on a new programme.

6. If the government feels that ID cards are too European Union and it wants to take a Euro-Sceptic position, it could introduce a ‘British ID card for Britain’ with no EU logos. The point is not the position with regards to the EU.

7. ID cards make it easier for the government to fight terrorism, illegal immigration, benefit fraud and unauthorised use of the NHS.

8. The move to scrap ID cards is purely political and it is not based on sound planning or common sense.

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