» Wednesday, May 6, 2009

ID Cards

Asked if there had been any re-examination of ID cards given the current financial climate, the PMS said that there seemed to be a view that you can suddenly save billions of pounds from scrapping ID cards, but that was not the case because the majority of the costs associated with ID cards came from setting up biometric passports. You would have to scrap biometric passports as well in order to generate those sorts of savings from ID cards, and it was not clear that there was a consensus for scrapping biometric passports. The running costs of ID cards were funded from the fees that we charged for them, so it was not clear what, if any, cost savings you would get from scrapping ID cards if you decided to go ahead with biometric passports, which most people seemed to want to go ahead with.

There were considerable benefits to having ID cards and we had always said that we would proceed with them on a voluntary basis and that there would be a vote in Parliament before they were made mandatory. We were not currently at the point where we were saying that they would be mandatory for the vast bulk of the population. We were saying that the idea that you could suddenly save billions of pounds for the taxpayer by abolishing ID cards did not appear to be the case, unless you were also prepared to scrap biometric passports.

original source.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Search for related news

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