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Identity Documents Bill

Part of the debate – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:43 am on 29th June 2010.

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Photo of Bridget Phillipson Bridget Phillipson Labour, Houghton and Sunderland South 10:43 am, 29th June 2010

I want to focus on two issues of equality. First, in my previous career I managed a women’s refuge and I know the difficulties that many people face in acquiring some kind of photo identity. We touched earlier on the fact that you can acquire either a passport or a driving licence, but I would argue that you would not seek to acquire a driving licence if you did not intend to drive. To some people it would seem a bit illogical to get a driving licence as a form of identity if you had no intention of driving because you  did not have the means to learn to drive. Secondly, the cost of passports can be high for some people. I know you touched earlier, Ms Chakrabarti, on whether the Government could consider means-testing or providing assistance on that. I do not imagine that that will be forthcoming. Would you like to comment on the difficulties that people find in proving their identity and, regardless of whether you believe it is right or wrong, the fact that to do quite a lot of things these days, such as sign for a house or rent a car, you need photo identity, and that for some people the photo ID card provided a cheaper alternative to the current systems?