What price an identity card?

Friday, August 05, 2005 | 0 comments »


MD writes...

Whatever the rights and wrongs of ID cards - and most clearly they will do nothing to significantly enhance security in these troubled times - the UK Government bureaucrats are nothing if not persistent and continue to push the slim case for the cards.

What particularly surprises is the lack of a clamour about the proposed costs (together with completely untried technology). Suggestions have been made that the UK card will cost anything from £100 to £300 (€150 to €450)! You can buy a working car for the latter amount (Editor: OK, we'll review your fee). Having done some research I can't believe the brass neck about this amount. In Belgium the cost is €10 to €15 depending upon where you live - and people still object. In Spain the cost is similar to Belgium (and, incidentally, passports are a fraction of the cost in the UK). So why so much in the UK? Another stealth tax?

On a cautionary note regarding the untried technology, in Belgium new cards have a chip which holds the address of the holder. Unfortunately, there are no data readers around so people with the new card have to have a piece of paper with their address written on it.

And that, we are told, is progress.

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