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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 August 2006, 15:46 GMT 16:46 UK
MP criticises ID card opposition
ID Card
ID cards are due to be introduced in 2008
Two Welsh councils have been criticised by a senior Labour MP over their opposition to the UK Government's ID card scheme.

Cardiff and Ceredigion councils said they have pledged to frustrate the use of ID cards by all legal means.

The councils say the disadvantages of the scheme outweigh the benefits and also object on civil liberty grounds.

Caerphilly MP Wayne David said their opposition was "very unhelpful" adding the UK was under "threat of terrorism".

The Identity Cards Act became law in March this year with cards due to be introduced in 2008.

We'll be on a path which will cost us a lot of money and which will leave us no better off in terms of security
John Dixon, Cardiff Council

For two years, people will be able to opt out, but from 2010 anyone getting a passport will have to accept one.

There are no plans to make it compulsory to carry them.

The Lib Dem-run Cardiff Council and Ceredigion Council - which is run by a coalition - have said the scheme will place an unnecessarily heavy financial burden on the public.

They have also criticised the plans over possible infringements of civil liberties.

In 2005, both councils joined several English authorities in passing a motion against the introduction of ID cards.

'Loss of freedoms'

They have said they will no part in any pilot scheme and they have pledged that the cards will not be required to access council services or benefits unless the law demands it.

John Dixon, a Liberal Democrat Cardiff Council member, said: "The points of principle around loss of freedoms and loss of privacy have been well-rehearsed, but it's also the practical problems around the implementation around any ID scheme.

"We'll be on a path which will cost us a lot of money and which will leave us no better off in terms of security.

"The government will need partners in order to roll out and pilot the scheme and if there isn't anybody to pilot the scheme they will find it incredibly difficult to do so."

'Crucial element'

Wayne David said it was "worrying" that the two authorities were refusing to co-operate with ID cards when their introduction was "inevitable".

He said: "This country is under grave danger at the moment with the threat of terrorism.

"Identity cards are one crucial element in the fight against terrorism.

"It's incumbent not only on the government, but also on local government, to co-operate to make sure that these ID cards are implemented as quickly and as effectively as possible."

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