£5bn for proof of age card = money well spent?
The home secretary, Alan Johnson, showed off his [identity card] as he travelled to Brussels for a meeting of EU ministers yesterday.
“The many benefits of the national identity card can now be enjoyed by members of the public in Manchester,” he said.
“The first applicants will soon be taking advantage of the voluntary card as a means to prove and protect their identity in a quick, simple and secure way.
“It can be used by young people as a convenient and universal proof of age and as a credit card-sized alternative to the passport when travelling in Europe.”
It’s really popular in Manchester, too*:
Since applications opened a fortnight ago, 1,386 people out of an eligible population of 1.7 million [or 0.08% - ukliberty] in the area have requested an application form.
The scheme’s launch was overshadowed by the revelation that the cards are only available to people who already have a passport or whose passport expired this year.
Anyone else wanting a £30 card will first have to sign up for a passport at a cost of £77.50.
So it will cost you £107.50 to have an identity card…