All In An Opposition Day’s Debate
[Adapted from No2id reports]
Statutory instruments passed for United Kingdom identity
UNITED KINGDOM – A House of Commons [comparable to the U.S. Senate] debate took place July 8th on ID card regulations and legislation. The House of Lords [comparable to House of Representatives] greenlighted draft legislation for The Identity Cards Act of 2006, passing regulations. They simltaneously kicked the can down the road Monday for regard of public input, leaving it up to a change of the guard.
They released this statement, “That this House regrets the Government’s decision to proceed with the draft Identity Cards Act 2006 […] Regulations 2009 before the case for continued investment in the identity cards project has been put to the British people at a general election”.
NO2 ID, reported earlier dialogue, July 6th, prior to the decision making.
Shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling MP said, “We might be in a position in which, in order to allow people to travel to the United States, we need to process biometric data and to pursue the introduction of biometric passports. We have not backed away from the biometric passport option […] However, it is not our intention to proceed with a compulsory national identity register”.
Grayling seemed to suggest that the Tory party would store biometric data in a central passport database but Christopher Huhne MP challenged this.
“I am not sure that I would accept that it is necessary to store biometric data. After all, the document would have the biometric data and it is anadditional guarantee of veracity. Why is it necessary to go one step further and store it centrally?”
>>WATCH COMMONS DEBATE HERE::: [Windows Download for Mac/PC]
Cost claims stir ID cards debate
The House of Commons last week debated identity cards for the first time in two-and-a-half years after the Conservatives proposed a motion for the government to abandon the scheme.
As expected, the motion was defeated, but the debate proved instructive in outlining both the government’s and the opposition’s attitude to what has proved a controversial scheme in two key areas – what will it cost and what the alternatives are.
The Tories and Liberal Democrats have argued that in times of fiscal constraint, the £4.9bn scheme must be abandoned – although they are ideologically opposed to the plan as well.
But scrapping ID cards will not simply save £4.9bn. According to the latest cost estimates confirmed to Computing by the Home Office this week, £3.6bn of spending on the scheme supports the issue of passports – a measure that none of the political parties opposes. So ending the scheme will save £1.3bn at most.
But the issue is complicated further by home secretary Alan Johnson’s claims that this £1.3bn would be recovered by the charges levied for cards. ::MORE HERE::