MANCHESTER could become one of the first areas in Britain to have identity cards, it emerged today.
Home secretary Jacqui Smith said the city was a ‘strong contender’ to be a pilot area when the government starts rolling out the cards across Britain in 2011.
ID cards are compulsory for foreign nationals and workers at certain airports, including Manchester Airport. They have been issued since November last year.
Home Office sources say there are no plans to make them compulsory for the public.
Just particular sections of it, a few at a time.
Ms Smith said: “As the cards become more widely available the whole country will see real benefits for citizens, businesses and the country by giving a convenient and secure proof of identity that locks people to one identity.
But locking people to one identity increases risk.
“That is why we have brought forward our plans and this year will begin offering identity cards on a voluntary basis,
Unless you’re an airside worker, say.
giving British nationals the chance to access the benefits of identity cards as soon as possible.
The Home Office estimates that by April more than 50,000 ID cards will have been issued to foreign nationals.
No, they are biometric visas (sigh). See this thread.
(Hat-tip to Andrew Watson, who tells us that the National Identity Scheme has been rebranded the National Identity Service.)