Following the enactment of the Identity Documents Bill:
- The National Identity Register (the database that contains card holder information including biographic and biometric data) will be destroyed
- The Identity and Passport Service will inform customers, overseas governments, borders and airports of the change
- The role of the Identity Commission will be terminated
The new Conservative / Liberal Democrat Coalition Government has been keen to slash public expenditure in order to reduce the budget deficit rather than increase taxation. The scrapping of the ID card scheme is just one projected which will get the chop. The move will save the taxpayer £86 million over the next four years and will avoid £800 million in ongoing costs (which were expected to be recovered through ID card fees).
The Home Secretary, Theresa May, said that “This bill is a first step of many that this government is taking to reduce the control of the state over decent, law-abiding people and hand power back to them. With swift Parliamentary approval, we aim to consign identity cards and the intrusive ID card scheme to history within 100 days.\’
The Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, went on to say that “The wasteful, bureaucratic and intrusive ID card scheme represents everything that has been wrong with government in recent years. By taking swift action to scrap it, we are making it clear that this government won\’t sacrifice people\’s liberty for the sake of Ministers\’ pet projects. Cancelling the scheme and abolishing the National Identity Register is a major step in dismantling the surveillance state – but ID cards are just the tip of the iceberg. Today marks the start of a series of radical reforms to restore hard-won British freedoms.”
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