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Monday, June 27, 2005

More on ID cards

When the Government starts to offer concessions then it is clear that it is in trouble on an issue, however to backtrack before the Bill has even reached the floor of the House of Commons is quite exceptional. Thus the Home Secretary's response to the London School of Economics' claim that the ID card scheme could cost £18bn - triple government estimates of £6bn - is quite extraordinary.

Shami Chakrabarti, director of human rights group Liberty, predicted ID cards would prove to be Tony Blair's poll tax. "Businesses and the unions hate them. Minority communities fear them. Nine out of ten of us don't want to pay for them," she said. Conscious of this, Charles Clarke is now suggesting that the flat rate charge could be discounted for pensioners. There is no indication whether a means-testing will apply for others nor how that would be paid for given the Chancellor's insistence that the scheme is self-financing.

It is obvious that the Government is starting to flounder on this issue already.


I can see "self-financing" and free cards for the elderly combining to inflate bills even further for "hard-working families."
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