Identity Cards

Home Department written question – answered on 7th November 2001.

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Photo of George Osborne George Osborne Conservative, Tatton

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the Government's policy on national identity cards is; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Angela Eagle Angela Eagle Parliamentary Secretary (Home office)

The Government have no plans to introduce a national identity card scheme as part of its response to the atrocities in the United States on 11 September.

However, the policy is kept under review and the Government are considering whether a universal card which allowed people to prove their identity more easily and provided a simple way to access a range of public services would be beneficial. Such an entitlement card scheme could also help to combat illegal working which disproportionately affects the poorer sections of our society by undercutting the minimum wage and encouraging unscrupulous employers. It could also reduce fraud against individuals, public services and the private sector.

The introduction of an entitlement card would be a major step and the Government would not proceed without consulting widely and considering all the views expressed very carefully.

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