Page last updated at 03:39 GMT, Thursday, 7 May 2009 04:39 UK

Will you sign up for a new ID card?

A sample ID card
The Home Office says ID cards to vital in combating fraud and terrorism
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?

Anyone aged 16 or over in the city who holds a valid UK passport will be able to apply for the card from the autumn at a cost of £60.

Opposition parties have said the £5bn scheme should be scrapped because of the current squeeze on government finances.

However, the Home Office argues that ID cards will help fight crime and terrorism and help reduce fraud, which will save money in the long term.

Are you in Manchester and will you voluntarily sign up? Do you think Britain needs an national identity database? Do you think ID cards are necessary or a waste of money?


We are having serious technical problems with the usual Have Your Say service which our engineers are working to fix.

In the meantime we are using the form on the right to ask for your comments. We will aim to publish as many of your views as we can.

We apologise for any inconvenience.


Your comments:

As the main reason to have these is to stop benefits fraud and the subletting of council and housing association properties, why do I need one.
andrew benington, United Kingdom

I do not see anything wrong in the ID card plan, however I do have reservations about paying £30 for the privilege to get one.
Stuart Paterson, Glasgow

I object to having to pay for the ID card as well as a driving licence AND passport. The sooner we lose this government, the better.
Chris Adamsn, Cambridge, UK

What a waste of money. It will not stop identity fraud, in fact if all our details are on one card it will make it easier to steal. As for the cards preventing terrorism, what a ridiculous statement. Do our government really believe this? They're dumber than they seem if they do.
Emma, Manchester

The National Identity Register that links information on your card will be illegal under the European Convention on Human Rights as it is a massive invasion of privacy, but the government will probably overlook that like they do their expenses. People will only worry when data about every personal aspect of their life has been lost, but then it will be too late. What's more, it will be hugely expensive, and it won't even work for what they say it will. I don't want an ID card and will send it back if I'm forced to have one so that they can look after it. I'm sure they won't lose it or anything.
Tom Read, Ex Manchunia

ID cards are useless, expensive and will make life miserable for millions of residents. The DVLA already can muck up and say you don't have a licence even after 30 years of driving, imagine the hassle when a minimum wage, offshore, outsourced muppet types in that your not entitled to health care!
Vish, UK

I can hardly afford to pay my household bills and feed myself without having to purchase a stupid unwanted ID Card. The sooner this government realises that they are NOT wanted the better.
Harry Houdini, Gateshead, England

Tony, London - perhaps they are being trialled in Manchester because Westminster is not the centre of the universe? Also there is not a chance I will get one of these ID cards, even if they become compulsory. I quite simply don't trust the government with my data. Plus what if I were to lose it? Could someone get my data somehow? I have nothing to hide and have a full UK driving license and a UK passport - why do I need more ID to prove who I am?
DS, UK

In the first episode of Futurama, Fry arrives in the year 3000 to find he has to have a career chip implanted. Since the government know everything about him, they are able to tell him what job he has to have. It's only a matter of time...
John, Nottingham

So, one card to prove my identity to the government to stop terrorism. If this would stop terrorism then I'd have one - but they're lying (again!) and it won't. The 7/7 bombers were here perfectly legally - they would have had perfectly valid ID cards and so would not have been stopped. We are going to allow shops to produce these things - because there has never been a dodgy shop worker. This government have told more lies in office than any government I've ever known. They get caught out lying, then using spin to try and bury their lies - but they're still in power. The sooner we have a complete regime change in this country the better.
Michael Smith, Margate, Kent

It will be interesting to see the number of gullible people there is in Manchester.
frank hinds, Belfast

Why should I need an ID card - I already know who I am. So if it's for others to know who I am then they should be the ones paying for it. Oh, and why should I worry if I've nothing to hide? Then what are the police hiding, now we cannot take pictures of them?
Tony Collins, United Kingdom

I will most definitely not be signing up for this ridiculous scheme. It will not reduce the threat of terrorism, illegal immigration or fraud. It is quite simply a data-harvesting exercise at the expense of, yet again, the already broke British public. To support such a scheme means that you implicitly trust the next successive Prime Minister, their party and agenda.... and the PM after that, and so on and so on. I for one do not trust the current ruling party to behave responsibly with the information they hold on me already, let alone more sensitive personal information from now until the end of time! One only has to look at history to learn their lessons. Nothing to hide, nothing to fear? When the Government decides if you have something to hide, everyone has something to fear.
Scott Alexander, Portsmouth, UK

I'll wait and buy mine in Hong Kong. It will be cheaper.
Alan, Slough

We already carry ID cards in the form of driving licences, national insurance cards, passports and health cards. Surely the addition of another card onto our person' is not something to worry about? And what is £5 billion these days anyway; when the NHS spends £2.6 billion on admin alone? I'm fully supportive of this government's plan for ID cards.
Philip, Northampton

I will never sign up for an ID card (EVER) they can put my in jail first. I am not going to allow a corrupt, inept, intrusive, autocratic and totalitarian government know anything about me. I am going to do everything in my power to get rid of this scheme. This country must be full of sheep to allow this to happen. Heil Brown.
Simon Armstrong-Craven, Manchester

Absolutely not. Do you trust this government? Would you trust any group of politicians? If THEY have nothing to hide, why do they hide so much? If ID cards, Trident and the Olympics were scrapped, imagine the boost the economy could get!
Stefan Isendahl, London, UK

I already have id, I have a passport. That was dear enough to buy. I refuse to pay for an id card as well. This will make no difference to illegal immigrants, they won't get one. Another bright brown n co idea, what a waste of money.
gaye, UK

I am writing to voice my strongest objections to the introduction of national identity cards. Amongst other things, they are an unacceptable intrusion into privacy; will not help in any way to prevent terrorism; cost too much. The arguments used by the Government are patronising; unconvincing; unsustainable and quite frankly, ridiculous. Get rid of them now.
Sarah Beresford, Lancaster, UK

I would sign up for one so long as i don't have to pay for it. We pay enough for Driving licence and passports and if it is for better security it should be free.
N Choudhary, Manchester

ID cards are a childish black hole for billions in public money. We have a political class of IT illiterates who think they're ahead on points if they can manage their own email. Their gullible attitude to the big databank companies who pitch them these cretinous notions is frankly embarrassing. When the DVLA can't issue accurate licences, when social services can't keep track of their caseload, when the privatised benefits systems start their regime by erroneously cutting off the benefits of thousands of sick people, when almost every government department has lost reams of our sensitive, financially valuable, personal data, thereby laying us open to fraud or worse, & when hardly one public body from the police to local councils seems able to grasp the basic principles of Data Protection legislation, it beggars belief that this lackwitted project is still being pushed. It will have zero value in fighting terrorism and is simply morally indefensible. I used to vote Labour, before they decided to "lead beyond their authority".
Julia, Manchester, UK

Bearing in mind this government's lamentable record on implementing large scale IT programmes and their even more lamentable record on keeping data secure I am amazed that this programme has not been attacked more vigorously by the opposition parties. What on earth are they paid to do if not hold the government of the day to account?
Richard Skaife, Shaftesbury Dorset

Never, ever.
Geoff Liberty, Newbury, England

I'm not against having a card, in my eyes its no different to having a passport or drivers licence, but they are having a laugh if they think I am going to pay to be part of there 'big brother scheme' !
Jo, Liverpool

If the political parties cannot agree whether to introduce them, why go ahead with the scheme, it will only work if everybody has to have them. Otherwise they are a waste of public money.
Oswald Chorlton, Burgess Hill

NO WAY! I pay enough money in taxes I'm not paying £30-60 for something I already have (a passport) plus I do not wish my personal data to be lost on a train or dump!! SO NO I will not be getting one...another Labour waste of money!
Su, Manchester

First it was the extreme porn law which prevents anybody viewing 'questionable' pornography, then it was the Counter-Terrorism Act which has made taking pictures of the Police now illegal, then they suggested a plan to monitor ALL internet use (including personal email), and now this. Will the Home Office be introducing any other intrusive, big brother schemes in 2009 which impact upon our civil liberties? For me, emigration is a distinct possibility. George Orwell will be turning in his grave!
Johnny, Cumbria

I would not pay £60. As a pensioner I couldn`t afford it..
james.w.wheeler, Manchester, Lancs.

I don't think British citizens need these cards as same can be achieved by biometric UK passport. New visa issued have biometric data as well. It might be a good idea to issue these cards for people applying for permanent residency here, similar to Green cards in the US that have fingerprint data.
Kedar Thakar, Reading, Berkshire

I might consider an ID card if I can register my religion as 'Jedi' :)
CJ, Southport, UK

What an absolute farce. This government stumbles from one shambles to another. ID cards are completely unnecessary they will neither prevent terrorism or illegal immigration they will continue regardless. ID cards will add further complexity and cost to living here in the UK. We already have way too many ID forms we should be rationalising them NOT adding to them. Also how many of us really believe this mad scheme will deliver on time and budget ?? All this will do is further line the pockets of huge corporations like EDS who when they fail will simply keep the money and move on to another fat government project. This government is so devoid of common sense it is staggering. Gordon Brown and new Labour are nothing short of a national disgrace and I say that as a Scottish and ex Labour supporter.
Allan McGinness, Falkirk

I have read all the previous comments with a great deal of interest. The mood appears to be overwhelmingly against this scheme, as am I. I have nothing to hide but, am wary of all official databases. While not particularly concerned about further loses of data, there have been so many already, others probably know more about me than I do. I am very concerned about mixed up information, or something wrongly applied to me. Anyone out there who has had to prove to any official body that the information they are holding is inaccurate, will understand. To everyone else, beware. The stored information is always right however much proof is available to the contrary.
Susan Price , Aberdare S.Wales

One more step closer to this governments goal of a "1984" society.
Steve, Exeter

Why can't passports become mandatory and use those as id? The new ones contain biometric data and should be held on a central database; Driving license costs about £20, passport £70ish, Id card £60 - that's £150 just to prove to various government departments that I am who I say I am! talk about profit by inefficiency!!!
ashley, Reading, Berkshire

"I would gladly have an ID card in the UK but will not pay for it. Dave Shore"
So the workers running the print mill will have to work for free? People entering the details will have to work for free? Or will it be taken from general taxation? NOTE: your ID cards in Panama et al were not backed by a National ID Register.
Mark, Exeter, UK

Will you trust this Government? The Terrorism Act has been used for events other than arresting terrorists, so what is to stop them in future insisting on everyone carrying an identity card? I see this as another attempt by an increasingly autocratic Government to further monitor our lives.
Bernard O'Connor, England

NO! There is no need for them we already have passports, i know who i am. The government just wants to centralise all our details so they can track us all like criminals. They also sell the information on to companies. Furthermore it will have no affect in countering terrorism, its not like the card will be labelled 'terrorist'. Also if anything it will make ID fraud easier as they only need to change a picture to steal your identity. I am 17 and will not be signing up even if it becomes law!
Shane Nickels, United Kingdom

We need ID cards to bring us in line with the rest of the EU. They will make travel much easier and more convenient - rather than having to carry a passport. They will also prevent any problems with age identification if it was made compulsory to carry such ID cards. An excellent idea.
George MacDonald, Inverness-shire

IBM & Siemens have been selected for the initial stages of this project - if the Scheme is scrapped by the next Government (be that Tory or Liberal) will the British Tax payer still have stump up the 5 Billion to those companies??? If so isn't that another misuse of public funds by Jacqui Smith???
Andyd, Guildford

Well I can see the benefits but I just do not trust this Government to keep the data secure - so no I won't be voluntarily providing them with anything.
Caroline, Manchester

Oh now I see why they are building new jails.........its for all us folk who will not sign up to this ridiculous ill conceived scheme.
Pauline Sutton, Peterborough

I reserve the right to walk the streets without ID of any sort. When that right is removed I will no longer wish to live here!!
Paul Bannister, Cheshire, UK

Jacqui Smith is a junior school teacher who talks down to everyone and thinks we are all stupid. Stop stealing from state funds and stop forcing your ideas on this nation. You are neither big brother nor do we need our freedom of speech and information hindered by the likes of you. Be gone!
Martin, Macclesfield

No way.... I am not signing up to be a slave in my own country and a slave to the global terrorist organisation known as "The New World Order"... Stand up for your rights, stand up for liberty, stand up for your freedom..... before its all gone and we are all broke, not to mention dead.
Andy, London

No chance. If I have to have a ID Card the Government can provide it. I am not for yet another way of milking the public by buying ID Card. No doubt it will only be valid for a few years and will have to be updated at yet more expense. I am all in favour of consigning it and Labour to the bin immediately if not sooner.
Ian McNicol

My local post office was closed last week when the postmaster was charged with fraud. You really think I want to entrust my ID data there?
Seriously sceptical, Lanark, Lanarkshire

Dave Bennett wrote"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, that's not the half of it. It was revealed today that Labour intend to 'accredit' such places as 'chemists', photo-shops' and other 'businesses' to issue these cards i.e. safeguard your personal data. This is a guarantee that data will go missing or be misused - WE MUST FIGHT THIS
IAN, CARLISLE, UK

I already carry my passport in a screened wallet. The RFID chips in them can be read with a laptop and a reader obtainable on the internet, from up to 10 metres away. Why should I transmit my personal details to all and sundry. The new ID cards will carry more information, which, if cloned and loaded with the correct information, will then make it nay on impossible for you to prove that the person with the cloned card is not you. An ID card with my photo and a barcode? No problem. An ID card with my personal details, including retinal scan? Forget it. I work with government IT systems and know how badly the government specify requirements.
Mark, England

Having had the misfortune of living in the Soviet Union and visiting Russia on business, I am strenuously opposed to ID cards. In Russia, for instance, you can be detained for up to 28 days for "identification purposes" if you left your passport at home - this is often used as a holding charge since otherwise pre-charge detention is only 24 hours. I see this happening in this country as well. Furthermore, I just don't trust this government. Originally from Canada, and having worked for a Canadian federal law enforcement agency, they have my fingerprints there because I was issued with a firearm. Reasonable cause. Just because I happen to live in the UK and being a citizen of this country is not a reasonable cause to have my fingerprints. As for ID, I have a passport, driving licence, work ID, etc.
M A Walters, Cambridge, UK

The whole idea of an identity card is that everyone should have one, so the muppets complaining about invasion of privacy, have no problems don't apply for one, a national identity card should be free and compulsory, can't see many low paid people applying for one, so what the hell is the problem?
steve toon, Andover

ID cards are a waste of time, you have a Driving license, Passports, etc. You can put money on the fact Banks will still ask for a Bill from home as proof of address, regardless of the card. Its just another Tax, as you will have to pay for a new one every time you move, like you do driving licenses.
William Grace, Toronto, Canada

No. Governments and criminals will benefit more than private individuals. What has changed that we need ID cards now? Is is imaginary or genuine fear?
ken jones, Wormit Fife

I'd get one just so I can cut it in half and post it to Gordon Brown. This is not about having a simple form of ID for the bank clerk, it's about the fundamental relationship between the individual and the State.
Matt, Bristol, Avon

They claim this card will reduce crime, illegal immigration, etc. Yet in countries which have already adopted ID cards, crime has not been reduced in the slightest. The ID card is simply a step towards total centralized personal data storage and the government will eventually use this system to control us all like cattle. Say no.
Annoyed, Berkshire

I very much doubt that the current government has any truly sinister motives behind the ID card scheme, SOCPA, the database state, ubiquitous surveillance, the proposals to snoop on people's online activity ... it's just that for a democratic state to set up all the apparatus that a totalitarian state would need is a really really bad idea, *whatever* the motives.
Dave, St Andrews, Fife

I have nothing to hide and if the government want me to have an ID card I have no objection. But I refuse to pay for one myself. They want it, they pay.
Stephen M. Lawson, Radcliffe, Manchester

How long do the government think it will take before organised crime infiltrate these high street chains and offer poorly paid staff a way to make quick money! Absurd and naive! How out of touch can you possibly be!!
Chis, Oxon

I see the 'if you have nothing to hide' brigade are on here as usual. I suggest you post all you personal, bank, PIN number details Etc on face book. NO I didn't think so. Everyone has things to hide.
Steve, Blackburn

I have no objection, It might, just might, make things better.
Em.C.Spiteri, Greater London

I doubt if any terrorist will register terrorism as his or her occupation or hobby. I will also bet that organised crime will have cracked the system by the end of the year. What a waste of public money.
N.J., Cambridge

If I wanted one I would wait until they are available cheaper from alternative suppliers such as those who supply false passports, driving licences etc.
Keith, Welshpool,UK

If they gave me one when I next renewed my passport then fine. However asking me to pay £60 for something that I'm just going to have to find space for in my wallet is ridiculous. As far as I can tell there is no incentive to the individual to have an ID card... but there is a cost... so who would want one!?
Mike, Nottingham

I would love one - but I don't have a passport - so what can I do ?
mike hutchinson, United Kingdom

"I have lived in Panama and Poland and had to have ID cards in both places and found it very useful and not intrusive. Dave Shore, Felixstowe"
The UK ID cards are backed up by a massive database containing additional info other than simply who you are and this info will be cross referenceable by many Government bodies without your knowledge - this is the difference between the UK ID card & the ID Schemes in other countries. Why do people not understand this distinction????
InnerSanctum, Surrey

A voluntary ID card is on a par with those green "P" and "L" plates that some recently-qualified drivers use. It's pointless, because the people who it is most aimed at are the ones who are least likely to volunteer to make their own lives difficult. I also agree with the people who have suggested that this card does nothing that a passport could not do. Why invent a whole new piece of bureaucracy, when we already have a document that proves a person's ID?
David Hazel, Fareham, UK

No Way> Keep the state out of our lives
malcolm

Pay for it? Oh dear. Why on earth would the public want to part with £60, especially in these "tough times" for an ID card? A passport can get you on a plane, a driving license can get you a drink. Nobody will buy one. This proposal has been doomed from the start and only now will our blind government (no pun intended) begin to see this.
Simon, London

I think this has been blown all out of proportion by the media and opposition parties. People are worried because they think this card will hold details on their financial situation and what perfume they like to wear...but the reality is it'll actually hold not much more than that of your passport. If you think about, there are many situations where you are asked for your passport as proof of ID...at the bank for example. People don't want to carry around their passports, so a handy ID card that shows the same info which you can keep in your purse or wallet would be ideal.
Nick, Watford, UK

As i don't go abroad i do not have a passport and stupidly thought that i could get one of these ID cards instead of a passport as it would be much cheaper to get this than pay £100 plus for something I would never use. I therefore cannot get an ID card. Ridiculous.
Jennifer Rylett, manchester

How can I put it? Under no circumstances!
Ian, Wakefield

I'm sorry but ID cards are completely useless. They will have been forged already, or will be within weeks. This will simply make it easier for people to forge identities. The system can immediately be undermined by human error anyway. It hasn't stopped terrorism in Spain. I have nothing to hide, but that doesn't stop governments infringing our civil liberties.
Steve, United Kingdom

No, I will not be getting an identity card. As I do not have a passport I am not eligible for one nor would I pay for one. If they were free I would still not accept one nor would I have one if compulsory, they can keep me in prison instead.
Keith, Welshpool,UK

The only way ID card would work is if everyone was forced to carry one. Any government thinking of going down that route should read the history of the Poll Tax the Tories brought in in 1990. As for the Manchester trial it offers zero benefit from a £60 outlay. A no brainer for most of us.
Jamie, Southport

Would the 7/7 bombings have been stopped if the bombers had ID cards - of course not! In the meantime, however, I consider that my store points and credit cards are sufficient ID, as these can easily be checked. I just hope that the people of Manchester refuse 100% to sign up for this expensive and useless piece of idiocy!
Sue Hudosn, London, England



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