In a bid to reduce the nation’s restrictions over its citizens, United Kingdom is considering the abolishment of the personal Identity Cards system. This will mark the nation’s new Coalition government’s first legislative step after its formation. The national identification cards system has been quite a controversial issue ever since it was proposed. It had been one of the major issues during the campaigns in the recent election.
Way back in 2002, the costly plan of introducing national Identity Cards was proposed by the Labor Party, led by Tony Blair, then Prime Minister in order to keep a check on unlawful immigration; and various other crimes. The plan proposed by the Labor Party was too expensive, as a result of which it had to face criticism from its opposition parties- Liberal Democrats and Conservatives. The latter opposed the plan during the recent election campaigns, which is one of the many reasons why the Labor government had to loose its throne. However, after eight years of its implementation, the cards were made mandatory for foreign nationals and optional for native citizens in the year 2008, when it was first introduced in Manchester. By now, almost 15,000 cards have been distributed in Britain. They contained individuals’ details like photograph; fingerprints and other biometric data. But, the cards came across as an issue of criticism, citing that they are likely to invade people’s privacy.
Now that the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats have formed the Coalition government in the UK, the first most significant thing they are going to do is to cancel the expensive plan. With the suspension of the Identity Card plan, the government is likely to save a heavy amount- over $1 billion in next ten years. The bill dictating the discontinuation of Identity Cards is expected to be passed by August. With this, the cards with British citizens will not be considered valid!