‘Drop id card scheme now’ From Oxford Mail

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‘Drop id card scheme now’ From Oxford Mail

Pressure group Oxford No2ID has called for the immediate scrapping of the proposed national identity card scheme after reports that Whitehall officials believe the scheme is doomed.

The Government has proposed that all Britain’s 50m adults carry identity cards, which would include biometric data, such as digital fingerprints and iris scans.

However, according to reports at the weekend, the controversial scheme may not be introduced for a generation, after senior civil servants warned of a botched operation to meet the deadline.

Leaked email correspondence published in The Sunday Times revealed a “face saving” mini scheme could be introduced instead.

The cards could be introduced voluntarily from 2008, but if Labour is re elected the party has proposed to make them compulsory to everyone over the age of 16.

All of Oxfordshire’s MP have condemned the scheme with the exception of Andrew Smith, scannable ids the Labour MP for Oxford East.

Oxford No2ID has claimed the scheme, which the Government has estimated would cost 6bn, is “hugely expensive and unworkable”.

Opponents have said it could cost nearer 18bn.

Bill Melotti, chairman of Oxford No2ID, said: “The ID card scheme has been built on a deception from start to finish over costs, practical difficulties and benefits.

“Each time the Government was forced to admit one alleged benefit was a nonsense, they would declare another.

“But far from improving security, buy fake ids they will most likely make things worse as they suck up to 18bn of public money that could go towards the security services. ID Cards are a total folly at a time

when local hospitals are threatened with closure.

“The real question should be for Andrew Smith. He has supported Blair’s ID fraud, putting his party before the public by consistently voting for the scheme. Will he now see sense and call a stop

to this doomed scheme, before billions more are wasted?”

The Government sees the ID card scheme as central to tackling terrorism, fraud and illegal immigration. The so called face saving scheme could involved storing biometric data on a temporary ID

register but stopping short of using it on ID cards.

Mr Smith said: “If these reports are true it’s plain common sense to review the scheme. My position all along has been to bring it in slower with more careful piloting, filltrustid but ID fraud is a huge

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