Page last updated at 16:04 GMT, Wednesday, 6 May 2009 17:04 UK

Will you sign up for a new ID card?

Manchester is to be the first city where people can sign up for a new ID card, ministers are to confirm. Will you sign up for one of the new cards?


We are having serious technical problems with the usual Have Your Say service which our engineers are working to fix. We apologise for any inconvenience. This debate is now closed.


Your comments:

I have lived in Panama and Poland and had to have ID cards in both places and found it very useful and not intrusive. In both cases I did not have to pay for them. I would gladly have an ID card in the UK but will not pay for it. Why not issue one with a passport using the same photo and details?
Dave Shore, Felixstowe

It seems clear to me as it must do to others, there are many people who are opposed to this scheme. Their reasons are varied and their stand against the ID card scheme is often resolute. The logical conclusion following the ID card rollout is to create criminals, as non compliance would render their scheme a failure and a waste of our money. How else do you "persuade" compliance against a moral resistance ?
Jon Purkins, Northumberland

Have nothing against identity cards but don't see why I should pay for one when I've already had to pay out for a passport and a driving licence
Floss, NE Lincs

How much more information do they want? Birth certificate, NI number; medical number, it's endless. If people want to bomb us or commit serious crime, they will. It's a sure thing our security forces/police won't stop them.
Geoff Burn, Cambridge

I fully agree with ID cards. Bring them in to all the UK ASAP.
Paul Newman, Nottingham

It will only work if it is beneficial to people. If it could replace a passport (well in Europe at least) and driving licence, that would be a good start. What about the ability to add your credit cards to it, so you carry one card around, not a bunch of them. Give people a tangible benefit rather than just spouting terrorism and security, and people may come round to the idea a bit faster. Do I wish to pay £60 voluntarily for no benefit? Not really.
Jason, London

Waste of taxpayers money and the government's energy. They have already proved they cannot be trusted with the data they already hold. Simplifying the tax credits system or CSA payments system to use PAYE would have been a better investment.
Lee, Leeds, England

If we have ID cards and they are going to have everything about us on it, then are we going to scrap pictured driving licence, student union cards, credit cards and any other cards that will hold our details? Or is this another lame attempt to dictate to us that we can only be what the government label us to be?
Roguesgalley, Winchester

ID cards will do nothing effective to reduce terrorism or crime, indeed criminal and terrorist organisations with the resources will probably find ways around them anyway. These cards do however extend the control and interference of the state by another step. This government in particular is investing heavily in building a very good infrastructure for oppression. I will not sign up for these cards, nor carry one. The scheme should be scrapped without compensation to the organisations involved and any money saved moved into worthwhile parts of the budget, perhaps even to help reduce the causes of crime by improving education and youth services.
Chris, Oswestry

Why should I have to validate my very existence by signing up for this National Identity Register/ID cards? The potential for this data to be abused/lost/stolen is almost a certainty never mind the fact you have to pay for the privilege. It's crazy that law-abiding people will be punished for not having one or not keeping their details up to date and it provides no extra benefit whatsoever. Saying it will counteract terrorism is an absolute delusion too.
Tamsin, Aberdeen

Why pay £60 now for something the Tories will scrap next year?
Tony, London

This should not be optional. How can it benefit the police as only the people who have nothing to hide will apply. If the ID card incorporated your passport more people would be in favour.
Mark Plant, Birmingham

I will get one as soon as possible and the system should be compulsory. Only those who have something to hide have anything to fear. I work in Europe a lot and most of my colleagues have to carry ID. It's just a fact of life for them.
Dave King, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk

I have done nothing wrong, I have nothing to hide and as a result the government have no right to track me, hold my finger prints, DNA, iris scans or any other personal info.
Oliver, Horsham, West Sussex

Having moved to the USA two years ago, the driving License here is your ID. Combine the two to reduce cost.
Martin Bradley, Detroit, USA

No. It's another stealth tax. It's another opportunity for ID fraud. It's another reason for some jobs worth to stop you doing something: buying a TV, having a drink, entering some public building, just because you don't have one or left it at home. No to the nanny state.
Dave, Taunton

A complete waste of money and time, and another attempt by the Labour government to undermine and belittle our freedoms as citizens. This will not be immune from forgery, and so will simply open up another dimension for identity fraud.
William Symonds, Buckingham, United Kingdom

I would sign up if they were free and I have no problem with having an ID card. I would not pay £50 for one as its not something I would use.
Michelle, London

What's the point in them? It is just another money making scheme! We already have to pay for passports and driving licences, are these not enough ID? I bet they only last ten years and it'll cost to renew anyway!
Rob, Wales

No I will not sign up for the ID card. This is another stealth tax by the Government. Why can we not use our passports? Why should citizens who are born in the country have the need for ID cards? It is purely a means of obtaining money for the Government disguised as a security matter.
Jill, Wolverhampton

If these cards are going to be made compulsory, why do I have to pay for it?
Katie, Leeds

Wait, why do I need to pay to let the government know who I am?
HD Young, Telford

With both the Conservatives and Liberals saying they will scrap the plan, it is irresponsible of Jacqui Smith to throw away our taxes with this scheme. The five billion estimate will spiral tenfold, (like the Millennium-Dome), by then New Labour will be out of office and we will still be carrying their debts. Home grown criminals and terrorists will continue, with or without ID cards. It's not what this government will do with the data, it's what future governments will do with it. Absolute power corrupts, etc.
Mat, Warrington

Yes. Definitely. The best thing since the passport, and credit card. I have no fear of governments and I don't see why anyone else need fear the Establishment. It is rather the Gordon Brown, Tony Blair, and George Bush mentalities we need to watch - and, the judicial system corruption we have at the present.
Robert Sinclair Shand, Wick, Caithness

The Government should just go for it and follow these simple steps: 1. Mandatory for all UK residents. 2. Free of charge. 3. Penalty for not having applied for ID Card after 12 months of the scheme beginning.
Jonathan, London

We are all painfully aware that any electronic security measure will be defeated sooner or later. The ID card will be no different and will I fear be a big waste of money, while at the same time only giving an impression of security. The card is only as good as the governments database security and we all know that leaks like a sieve
Mark J, Stafford UK

I think I'll explode the next time a bank clerk asks me for a water or phone bill as proof of ID. The economy could really do with a common and adequate form of identification.
Fred Hilgers, Chichester

Yes I probably will, I really don't see the problem with having just one more form of I.D as I have so many anyway.
Rebecca McMonies, Gretna, United Kingdom

I would not have an ID card unless they put everything on to it and merged all the current systems, this would pay for the card as it would eliminate thousands of staff in all the departments it does away with, also it would eliminate fraud. But this will never be done. There is no company out there with the resources to merge all the systems into one. Just think one card for passport, driving license, health, social services, pensions, births deaths marriage etc etc...
Keith, New Milton, UK

What I object to is the cost. There are other recognised forms of ID which people choose to get so they will pay for them. Here we have a case of big brother instructing us to get something many of us don't want, therefore they should foot the bill. They have proven they can't be trusted with my personal information so why should I willingly pass it on, and part with hard earned cash as well. Will the unemployed have to pay or will their circumstances "be taken into account"?
Ann Partington, Blackburn. Lancashire

The ID scheme is further evidence that Labour madness continues, spreading political correctness, government intrusion and decay in British standards. Looking forward to the next election to end this destruction of a once Great Britain.
Michael Rees-Evans, Bideford, Devon UK

The only 'benefit' I get is to pay tax! What would an ID card give me that my passport and drivers licence don't already provide? Remember the blue passports replaced by red 'digital' ones in the name of improved security? Doesn't seem to be working as we have tens of thousand of illegal people in the country already. Like the driving licence, it's probably worthless without the back up paper. An ID card won't help anything.
Andy , Norwich

I work in the construction industry and we have had to get CSCS cards to work on site as most builders are now adopting this system. We have to pay to get tested and receive the card. The ID card is no different but for the safety of the whole country it should be issued as standard and all people entering the UK should have one.
Mark Baker, London

What is it with politicians and their obsession with ID cards? We're in the middle of supposedly the deepest recession since the 1930s and they want to waste billions of pounds on something that no one in this country wants. To hear ministers say "public support for ID cards is high" is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. Has anyone here met anyone who thinks this is a good idea and a good use of public money?
Mike Ryan, London

I live in Manchester and think ID cards should be compulsory for everyone as there are so many illegal workers and people in the UK at present. It's about time the government and all departments pull together and get the problem sorted out as at the end of the day, it's our tax money that's paying for it all: NHS, schools, library's council services etc. - all of these services are used by those who are in the UK illegally.
Sam, Manchester

Being British and now living abroad, I have the unique chance to live with the ID card system already. On the continent, they use their identity cards with a chip, and these are used for all the same things as being proposed in the UK, but also as a form of identification instead of a passport for travelling within Europe. If the government is so keen to bring in the ID card into the UK, why on earth does it not follow the same route as all of the other EU countries and combine its use as a form of EU passport and identity for things like opening bank accounts and making benefits claim, etc?
Nicholas Clifford, Hasselt, Belgium

I am in Manchester and I will not voluntarily sign up for an ID card. Moreover, when the "voluntary" aspect wears off and it is quietly moved to being compulsory, I will still not have an ID card; I'm not terribly fond of this country any more and this will be the final straw that causes me to get my act together and emigrate.
Leigh, Manchester, UK

I am in favour of ID cards. The Inland Revenue has all our personal details and our driving licences, dates of birth and addresses plus a picture, so why all the fuss about ID cards? (A senior).
Paul O'Connell, York

I have jumped through hoops to prove my identity for a passport - why would I want to spend money on an ID card, which I can only have if I already hold a passport? The passport proves my identity in every country in the world, except it appears, here.
Nigel P, Manchester

Hold me back I can't wait, I bet people will be queuing up to throw £60 away in yet another money making exercise. I know who I am I have a passport to prove it, yet another document for criminals to forge. What planet are these people from? We already have driving licenses and passports with detailed info on how to re-new. Will these become obsolete? No way - kaching !!!!! What more do they want?
John, Chepstow

I keep hearing the government says how ID cards will help the fight against serious crime and terrorism, but it is far from clear how they will help. Once again the government seems to be treating us all like children, saying how important this is, but neglecting to tell us exactly how it will work. Even in good times, I would say the money would be better spent elsewhere, but right now it is impossible to justify wasting billions on such a worthless project.
Steve Jones, Chelmsford, UK

I laugh when people complain that "they don't want the government to have all of my details", all of the details on this card the government already have! If they were to replace driving licences with these cards then I would have no problem whatsoever, but at the minute they simply seem to be an extra form of ID I see little benefit from at the minute.
Richard Smith, Leicester

I spent 32 years with the RAF where I had to carry an ID card all the time. If this card was as secure as that then I would have no objections. However, with the Government's appalling record on data security I would loath to let them have any more information on me, for fear that someone nefarious would gain access and utilise it for their own means. A resounding no if I have to buy it!
Paul Gray, Elgin, Moray, Scotland

To all the people suggesting that ID cards will help combat crime and terrorism; explain how they completely failed to stop the Madrid bombings in Spain where they have compulsory ID cards, and why levels of organised crime are of similar or higher levels than the UK in the various EU countries which already have compulsory ID. This new ID is just another step towards big brother Britain, and will make identity theft easier and more profitable than it is now.
Steven Marshall, Swansea

I have nothing to hide and have no intention of having a card to prove I have nothing to hide. Playing on peoples fears is not a valid reason to flog it. Passport , national insurance card, tax forms etc; just another way to raise revenue for a flagging system, regardless of the political party.
Jez

Is it not bad enough that we're already the most watched city in the world? Enough of this tight control on the population, enough scare tactics to make us think that we're constantly at threat from terrorism and therefore need ID cards. This is once again a sign that our government needs to fulfil its desire to control to the full extent. We need a complete change of the political system in this country, a change of ideology, and a change in the relationship between those at the top and those at the bottom.
Oli Genn-Bash, London, UK

I will not be signing up for an ID card even if they make them compulsory. They are a massive waste of money, highly intrusive and unless terrorists and criminals are going to start leaving photocopies of their cards at their crime scenes, useless at fighting either of them.
Cardinal Fang, Oxford, UK

No I will not sign up for £60. I have a photo driving licence, passport and I'm on the IR computer and the National Insurance computer, Driver and vehicle registration agency etc. How much more information will an ID card give? A total waste of tax payers money. Proper control of immigration and the return of illegal immigrants is more urgent than ID cards. Also, this will not control terrorism as most of the people who carry out these bombings are UK citizens, again ID cards will do nothing to control this.
Neil, Tonbridge

No, I have paid through the nose for a digital passport and photo driving license, why should I have to buy another piece of plastic to tell *whoever* that I am British? As well as getting one for myself I would presumably have to buy one for my wife and three children. Oh and as it's got a photo on it; how often will my children's ID cards need to be replaced? Sounds like another good money making scheme from our elected representatives! I don't carry knives or hand guns, I don't look at the post office with a view to clearing it out, I'm not a militant or extremist in any way but here I am, sooner or later, paying the government and its representatives to stop me in the street and detain me if I don't have the right piece of plastic in my wallet. Yet I don't think for an instant that the same criminals and illegal immigrants who can buy fake passports will have any difficulty doing the same with ID cards.
Rob, Guildford, Surrey

The ID scheme was proposed on the back of preventing terrorism; will it achieve this aim? No. Waste of time and money. We already have numerous forms of ID, from passports to driving licenses, and as others have said, the opportunity for misuse of the database is enormous. Worse though, it will not be secure. Leaks of information from the database are inevitable. And by the way, just because other countries have ID cards that doesn't mean it's the right course of action here. ID cards did not prevent the train attacks in Spain. Any terrorist or criminal will not use one voluntarily. If compulsory, there will just be the usual black market in fake cards, and don't believe for a second that the cards can't be faked; of course they can, no technology is foolproof. The idea of a compulsory card is abhorrent to me. Why did we bother fighting World War II if this is the end result? There are various ways we can deal with terrorism. ID cards is not one of them.
Ian Mapleson, Edinburgh, Scotland

We have photo card driving licenses and passports, so why do we need another form of ID? Ironically, the picture shown on this page shows 'Passport Service' in the background.
Hannah, Southampton

I can't think of one occasion over the past year when I have had to prove my identify - why would I want an ID card when it wouldn't be used.
David, London, UK

I would say to Dave Taylor from Manchester that quite a few criminals will be signing up for ID cards. In fact they'll do their best to get quite a few because it's being touted as a 100% secure and accurate system. I will not be signing up for an ID card. I have nothing to hide, I just object to the huge database set up to track everyone. To those who point to ID card schemes in other countries - those cards don't have the big tracking database behind them and are no worse than an old-style passport. Finally - you want an ID card, you pay for the system.
Dave, Cambridge, UK

Pay £60 for an ID card? You must be joking! Just put all your data on a disc or memory stick and post it to a random address or just leave it on a train - same effect as giving your data to the government at no expense.
Juliet, Lancashire, UK

There hasn't been a serious debate regarding the pros and cons of the ID card system.

When it was first announced, the ID card would stop terrorism, but since 7/7, the stance is that it will combat ID fraud etc. In every system, there has to be a clear and concise brief of the aims of the system, but unfortunately this has been changed several times over the years, thus resulting in a system that does not know what its role is.

I can't see the government spending vasts amounts of public money without having a plan to recoup some of the outlay. How will they do that? Simply they will sell access to the system to commercial companies & organisations (similar to the DVLA). Indeed Labour has admitted that they will sell the data to banks, libraries, and other companies for a fee. It all comes back to the old saying, information is power. The more information you can gleen from people, the more power you have over the same people.
Marc Simmins, Birmingham

What a great idea, I can't wait for all the would be terrorists and non-law abiding citizens to sign up!!
Andrew, Macclesfield

I will not sign up for the card, I have a passport which should be sufficient, also the cost is ridiculous for those who do want it
Jan, Cornwall

£30 to £60 a go - taxation by another name - again. The sooner this lot are out the better
Rick, Huddersfield

I don't need an ID card - I know who I am.
Paul, Berkshire

NO! If I don't have my card then I could be locked up! Let's not be the lemming generation and let government turn the UK into Orwell's 1984.
Sean, Dublin formally a Londoner

Absolutely no. My picture is on my driving licence and also my bus pass - Why would I need to give any other information to identify myself?
Dinah Shortt, Enniskillen, N Ireland

The arguments of helping to combat terrorism, illegal immigration and fraud will not work unless these are compulsory, which they are not. As a voluntary scheme, it can be of no use except to those who have no other way of proving their ID - which can't apply in this rollout as you require a passport in order to get one! Yes, most the data is stored somewhere already anyway but why pay £60 for something which can be of absolutely no benefit to either you or the country?
Pete, Glasgow

Wouldn't have one even if they were free, which obviously as the scheme will cost billions they won't be.
Martin Fowmes, Reading, Berkshire

It would be useful while you have this problem to give a count of for and against. I have just looked at the first few and all seem positive, which is contrary to the usual view.
Spqr, Bromley Kent

I have nothing to hide and have done nothing wrong as well, why would I want an ID card? Privacy is an inalienable right, our civil rights are being eroded day by day and you all seem to want to silently abdicate your rights til one day you will wake up with none and 2+2 will = 5
Steve, Lincoln

Ok, I'm a law abiding citizen, I have a passport, a National insurance number, a driving licence. Can someone tell me what benefit I will get from an ID Card?...... Thought so.
John Onslow, Southampton

I don't drive so I have no license. I don't intend going abroad again (for health reasons) so won't be renewing my passport when it expires. I will not be paying my cash for an ID card. Am I therefore a 'non-person'?
Alistair B, Aberdeen

I have no photo ID at present and the need to have one is becoming more common. So why should I spend £102 getting one of these? I thought these would be a good alternative to getting a passport of which I have no need. But now I see I would have to get a passport first (hence the £102). Only the government could come up with an idea as stupid as this!
John Elvin, Hassocks, W Sussex

Like many people who have commented here, "I have done nothing wrong and have nothing to hide". But I am a very careless and forgetful person, and sooner or later I know I am going to be criminalised for losing this useless new piece of plastic, or forgetting to carry it when I go out shopping or walking the dog. I don't believe that ID cards will do anything to reduce crime or terrorism, they will just provide a new way for bureaucrats and authorities to make our lives a misery.
Brenda, Richmond, UK

What a waste of money. Why should anyone pay £60 to be fingerprinted and photographed like a criminal? Some questions for all the pro ID card posters: are these cards for life? Do they, like the drivers licence con have to be renewed after 10 years, for which you are charged again? What happens to children's ID cards, are they free to upgrade as the child gets older? These ID cards are useless, expensive and not wanted by the majority of people in this country. It's a tax on your liberty. Smith's pathetic attempt today to justify them is nothing more than a face saving exercise for Brown who can't have anymore back downs without losing even more 'authority' in controlling his rabble of a government.
Ed, Hampshire

I will not be getting an ID card. It serves no purpose. It has been demonstrated to not aid in preventing crime or terrorism, it makes fraud easier to commit by requiring only one document, and this government has demonstrated time after time that it can't be trusted with a lunch menu, never mind our personal details. Finally, I've done nothing wrong, I'm a law-abiding citizen, and I refuse to be scrutinized and mistrusted despite that.
Huxley Hobbes, Leicester, UK

To all the people so willing to surrender their identity to the government: So you're perfectly happy to pay upwards of £100 per person in your family per ID card, plus the increase in tax required to pay for this 10 billion pound scheme? That's beside the point, it will have no effect on fighting terror - as the government itself admits.
Neil, Bath

No, I would not sign up for an ID card. It is another way for the Government and big corporations to nose into our business. It is a total breach of our civil liberties and our right to privacy. Next thing will be a chip under our skin, on the back of our hand or forehead. There is no way of guaranteeing it is full proof from being hacked and copied, so I can't see how the government can say it would fight crime and terrorism. The more and more we rely on computer systems the more unsafe things become, and the easier it becomes for criminals and terrorist to hide in the so called 'system design to help protect us'. How gullible do they take the general public to be?
Luke Bower, Bognor Regis, England

Under no circumstances. I have a passport a driving licence and various credit cards. Why should I be required to carry anything else? With this government's record on losing data; absolutely no chance am I going to trust them with anything. If ultimately the carrying of a card will not be compulsory what exactly is the point?
Roger, Borders

I have nothing to hide, therefore I am happy to carry an ID card. It will be a great help to deter imposters too. Bring them on before Cameron gets his childish way.
Iain MacMillan, Isle of Benbecula

If the ID card is supposed to be in the best interest of the public. Why do we have to pay?
Eyob , London

I am an airline pilot and I refuse to have a UK ID Cards. My profession is already the most checked and scrutinised in the world. The UK ID Card cannot possibly make air travel safer as the existing airside pass system is more rigorous. I further object to having my details recorded on a National Identity Register and for those details to be retained indefinitely. This is all about state control and I do not see why I should be denied my work just because I object to that aspect. I earned peoples trust as an airline pilot - why does the Government want to take that away?
Charlie, Isle of Man

I have no objections whatsoever to national ID cards, and no, I do not think they are a waste of money. I have friends and relations in France and they are all quite happy that they have to carry cards, and every time they move home they change the details on their cards, it's so easy. It naturally makes the greatest of sense in these tense times of international terrorism and illegal immigration et cetera, that everyone can be identified if needs be. Finally, yes, I will quite happily sign up for an ID card when the scheme comes into operation in the Autumn.
Gerald Widders, Manchester, England

If the pilot scheme extends across to Merseyside then I will have no hesitation in signing up, although I do believe that this should always be a voluntary scheme and never compulsory.
Jay Prothero, Birkenhead, UK

I have nothing against the ID card system itself, however having to have an id card and a passport with essentially the same data on it does appear to be a waste of time. I would happily volunteer to be part of the trial, however I fail to see why I would volunteer to pay £60 for a card that I don't need, am not required to have and will not produce any tangible benefits until 2015. If the government wants to trial the success of the scheme in Manchester and the ability to cope with demand, then the cards should have a much lower charge if not free altogether for the purposes of the trial.
Andy Taylor, Bolton, Manchester

The potential for these cards to be used by the government in a negative way is huge, and coercion on pilots into taking them I believe will only be the beginning of the problem. They will erode the right of British citizens to live in Britain entirely freely, as I have no doubt that before long these cards will be compulsory. The claims of their use for combating terrorism is a way of using the issue of extremism for their own ends in my opinion, as little or no real evidence has been presented to tell the public in what way exactly they will fight terrorism or organised crime.
Rainard Bhiroo-Stocks, London

Not only a complete waste of money, but another attempt by the surveillance state to tighten its grip - deeply illiberal. The claims about fighting terrorism and organised crime are self-serving nonsense. The database will cost a fortune, data will be lost and mislaid routinely, and it will be abused for who knows what purposes. Assurances on this are worthless. It should be resisted at every turn.
John Driffill, London, England

ID cards are a good idea. They are a protection for us all against criminal gangs who are currently able to work in highly secretive ways. To pay £60 each for Manchester citizens to identify themselves as open and honest to others is a lot of money and seems a bit hard but even so I am for it.
Mike Dickety, Gravesend England

I fear that this scheme is badly thought out and that the costs will spiral, there are already a number of national databases upon which we all feature; from DVLA to Television Licensing, Passport to National Health Service. None of these systems is without it's glitches or faults, there are clear failings in all of them already. Surely to create a national identity base the ideal should be to link all this existing information and to improve it's accessibility to those who need to know.
Mr Andrew Bleasdale, Bishop Auckland, County Durham

I am on balance in favour of ID Cards, but wonder what a voluntary scheme will achieve apart from iron out gremlins in the function of the cards? The words 'voluntary' and 'ID Cards' don't match, an oxymoron. The people who volunteer are those who have nothing to hide, and the very people who don't need the card. An identity fraud expert, or a common criminal, will not volunteer because they can carry on their scams without it far better.
Dave Taylor, Manchester, England

I used to go by the mantra that if I have nothing to hide then there's no reason not to have an ID card. However, I simply do not trust the government to preserve and service my data correctly. ID fraud will not end with this scheme and it is arrogant for the government to suggest otherwise. I'm a Labour supporter but this is nanny state going too far and this government is reaching the end of its shelf life.
Vaughan Jones, Nuneaton, UK

I agree with the card as long as we have the right not to carry it unless we are going into more sensitive places but it should have started in London for government buildings.
Paul George Baines, Hyde Cheshire

I live in Manchester as a student and there's no way I'm going to voluntarily fork out £60 on an ID card. I don't see this working and I hope it gets scrapped.
Richard Lewis, Manchester, UK

I am a teacher under the age of 25. Despite being Labour, I am very pro-ID card, but not in the current form: I already have enough documents to prove my identity, but convenience would dictate that my National Insurance number, teacher registration number, driving licence and passport numbers ought all to be on the same card. However, the current scheme holds no extra benefits over the passport/driving licence combination for me, so I won't be plumping for it if it becomes available here voluntarily.
AJP Henderson, Stratford-upon-Avon

They have got to be joking. Do they think I am going to pay £60 for my details to be kept on a database that will undoubtedly get lost at some stage in the future?
Malcolm Beese, Middleton Manchester UK

Surely an idea like this, with so much resistance, really isn't helping itself by being one that is chargeable? If people don't want an ID card, and are opposed to the mere idea of being forced to have one, surely the imposition of a cost on them to actually getting one will incur even more fury. Abolish the cost of the card, and put them in place nationwide now. David Cameron is right, putting a national ID card system in just one city is "nonsensical".
Liam Collins, Cambridge, UK

I don't see the benefit for the Joe Public getting an identity card. Why should I go to the post office and let them take my fingerprints and picture for a card to let me go about my daily business? I always carry my picture driving licence that proves who I am. I think as a teacher that the money would be better spent improving funding for schools and public service employees.
Paul New, Bolton, England

As I approach my 50th birthday I note with pleasure (not smugness) that I have never been fingerprinted by the police because I have never done anything to warrant it! Now I am being asked to pay to give intimate data about myself voluntarily by a government that seems to "lose" valuable data left right and centre. The Conservatives inspire no greater confidence in this matter. It's mad.
Tony Russell-Pattison, Longsight, Manchester

I fail to see how these 'voluntary' ID cards could possibly reduce fraud and combat terrorism and organised crime, as only those with nothing to hide will apply. The expense will be prohibitive to many, and if the requirement becomes compulsory (as it surely will), it will be the taxpayers who pick up the bill for those on benefits. Conversely, of what value are they if they only carry small amounts of info? We already have available an expensive; a unique ID which covers all of the above - the passport!
Sue Stone, Bournemouth, Dorset, England

I can't help but wonder how a card will stop terrorism. The scheme seems like a money-making plan which will gather everyone's personal information, which will probably get lost by a government minister anyway.
Samantha, Manchester

I come from Hong Kong and have been here for 15 years. In Hong Kong, we all have ID cards and we need to bring it with us when we go out. It's a very good way against illegal immigrants, criminals, every kinds of frauds and save time for applications and recruitment. Just one card and it helps a lot. But the cost in UK is dear £30, it should be free for elderly and younger people.
Ele Chan, Luton, UK

This scheme is a farce. It will cost untold billions at a time of economic crisis. It will not make the country any safer but it will enable the Government to collect more and more data about your personal life. No one I know wants one, many, many politicians are against it but Jacqui Smith seems hell bent on pushing this terrible idea through. Why is she doing this? For the good of the nation this scheme must be stopped.
AndyD, Surrey

I think this is another way to waste money. I don't believe there is any need for these right now as other forms of ID such as photo driving licence or passport. I agree with David Blunkett in abandoning the id cards in favour of the biometric passports.
Angela, Keighley, West Yorkshire

If the government require us to have ID cards why are they charging us for them? Both my partner and I are disabled and on benefits. Paying the £30 to £60 each for ID cards is an expense we cannot afford!
Brian Perrett, Cardiff

I will gladly sign up, if it means that I don't ever need a passport to travel in Europe. If not, and the Government says we have to have an ID card, that means £60 for the ID card and around £70 for a new passport - the government are getting money off us left and right.
Barbara Garwell, Manchester, UK

I live in Manchester and I won't sign up to any ID card. I don't want to support and pay for an expensive system that will not control terrorists and criminals. It will be used as yet another Labour tool to control the law abiding majority. I certainly do not trust Jacqui Smith to look after my human rights and freedoms.
John, Manchester

This is a total waste of money in a time when everyone is feeling the pinch. How can they reduce illegal immigration if they are voluntary, can you imagine it, a police man walks down the street and sees someone speaking Polish and wonders if they are a legal immigrant so he asks them, "excuse me sir but can I see you Identity Card?", the man replies "Sorry I don't have one because I didn't want to pay for one!". Hmm, yet another stupid idea from a stupid government.
Mark Evans, Stockport

There is a little understood benefit of having an ID card - back in 2006 the government passed the Terrorism Act. One of the small print sections of that Act allows police to arrest anyone who cannot identify themselves when asked to do so. Is that enough of a benefit to shell out £60? Not for me its not. I'd rather leave this country.
Rob, Southampton

I work in Manchester and my answer is no, absolutely, no. Anyone thinking of getting one of these should save that £30 to £60. It will be repealed next year anyway its just wasted money.
Steve, Oldham

ID Cards are a good idea, I would like to carry one. However to charge £60 and expect people to buy one voluntarily is a crackpot idea.
John Hassall, Northampton

How are you we supposed to pay for the cards? I don't mind carrying one but I'm not paying for it. If the government wants us all to take part in this then they should provide them free of charge.
Claire Taylor, Holton-le-Clay, Lincolnshire

How this government can just plough on with a scheme that the population do not want, do not want to pay for and when we are in a recession (and much of the costs are to already very profitable overseas IT companies) - it just beggars belief.
Ian, Norwich

I think considering the state of the finances at the moment of this great country of ours we shouldn't be spending £5 billion on a project which really doesn't have a high priority. We should be putting the money into helping families that have no income at the moment.
Iain Knight, London

You'd have to be an idiot to sign up for these ID cards. There'll be no benefit unless you have no other way of proving your identity, but how many people don't have either a passport or a driving licence? The sooner this scheme is scrapped the better.
Rob , Manchester, UK

If signing up for an ID card helped towards stopping terrorism and identity fraud, why wouldn't you sign up?
JH, Manchester

If the required information is pretty much the same, why don't they create a cut down 'passport card' to those who already have a passport?
Bill Turner, Bristol, UK

I've no objection to ID Cards, it's a no-brainer as far as I'm concerned. I'm also happy for my DNA and fingerprints to be held on a database - why should I have any objection, I'm not a criminal. However, I'm not prepared to pay £60, and as a future Conservative Government will scrap the ID Card scheme, and it's likely they'll come to power next May/June, then purchasing a card now would be folly for the general public.
Trevor Wright, London

Why so much fuss? I have no problem in providing this information - all of which is known to the state already; I have a passport, a driving licence, a car tax, a NI number, a pension (I hope one day), a government gateway ID, a bank account and I complete a tax return every year. I worry more about the lack of community spirit in those who will not join the scheme which is intended for our safety. I am suspicious of anyone who wants to give an opinion, make a stand, demonstrate etc and who is not willing to say who they are. I visit France a great deal - they have long since had a ID scheme and it is normal for everyone to carry their cards - without concern.
Pat Elliott, Stockport UK

Hilarious. I look forward to seeing just how pitifully few people voluntarily pay £60 to partake in this laughable government scheme.
Rob Taylor, Manchester, UK

ID cards are a waste of time and money at best. At worse they are a severe encroachment into our civil liberties. There is no evidence to suggest that they will stop terrorism or fraud. Which are simply words used to scare people into cooperating. In the year of the London bus bomb attacks more people died using DIY equipment than by terrorism - perhaps ID cards will protect us against this far more real danger?
John, Glasgow

ID cards do not have any proven benefit and I cannot see why Jacqui Smith is still pushing them. No-one wants them; no-one needs them. And for anyone who says one of "well other countries have them" or "nothing to hide, nothing to fear" - if you're about to splurge £5 billion on something, don't you think you should have to prove they're actually useful and won't be cancelled in a year by the next government anyway?
Austin, London, UK

Make it mandatory now and include cost in taxation; an optional ID card is no ID card at all. Benefits will be widespread, we live in a computer age, if people cannot be identified it stops us gaining the benefits. Government already have secret files on all you do, who you call, where your car goes etc - not having the ID card just stops the benefits to individuals.
Steve, Reading

Another way of wasting tax payers money. How safe will your data be, as it is protected by the government? You only have to look at their previous record on data protection.
Dave Bennett, Kings Langley, Herts

Why Manchester? Why not London? Who is going to voluntarily spend £60 when you have a passport. Why will it cut fraud? Non Starter.
David Wheeler, Manchester, UK

I live in Manchester and I certainly won't be opting to buy an ID card. I've recently had to pay for a renewed passport, which was a whopping £100! If someone is a little confused as to who I am, I'll pop home and grab my passport in half an hour, seeing as the ID card is to contain the exact information a passport does! Added expenditure for no real purpose? That's a great way to encourage public spending and public morale isn't it? - I hope sarcasm can be read via written text.
Jennifer Hill, Manchester, England

If the people of Manchester voted no to a congestion charge, why would they voluntarily sign up for ID cards at £60! Stupid Ideas by Government versus Common Sense by Manchester!! I know who I will have my money on.
Martin Curtis-Emerson, Manchester, England

I must be ahead of the game. I have one of these already. It's called a passport.
Richard, Stalybridge, Manchester

I don't live in Manchester, but don't agree with id cards. It has been said that they will be compulsory, this is unfair. If you have to have one they should be free. I have a choice of having a passport, which I have to pay for. If I have no choice I should not have to pay.
John Biggs, Anerley, London

This ID card is a waste of money and the efforts and money should be put into biometric passports.
Roger Hampson, Swindon

I think ID cards are a must in today's society: The growing threat of terrorism and increasing immigrants entering the country, there's no doubt in my mind they should be rolled out across the country.
David Oldham, Manchester

If cards are available only to passport holders, why aren't they just given out with passports? However as passports seem relatively easy to obtain for illegal immigrants, maybe that's not a good answer.
Michael Walker, London

I have done nothing wrong and I have nothing to hide, why wouldn't I want a card that can prove who I am and cut down the possibilities of fraud which I was a victim of last year? I think that every other country in the world has one, so why shouldn't we? However, I don't think we should have to pay for it.
Mike, Manchester

Why would anyone pay £60 for something that is voluntary when the driving licence performs the same task? The only way ID cards will have any use is if they make it compulsory. I live in Manchester and there is absolutely no way I will be purchasing this voluntarily, it is without doubt completely pointless. Who has a spare £60 lying around anyway at the moment?
Ms Elliott, Manchester

No. Why would I pay £60 for something I don't have to have? That would buy shoes for my kids.
Maria, Manchester



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