Youngsters to be 'blackmailed' into getting identity cards
by JAMES SLACK
The Daily Mail
Last updated at 22:37pm on 23rd January 2008
Stealth: A leaked document reveals plans to introduce ID cards for young people
Young people who want to open bank accounts will be “blackmailed” into having ID cards by 2010, leaked documents revealed last night.
Anyone aged 16 or over will be expected to obtain a card – costing up to 100 – when they first open an account or apply for a student loan to get through university.
Many of the youngsters will have to turn to their parents to foot the bill.
The revelations raised fears that the Government is planning to collect the fingerprints and other biometric details of more than two million young people entering higher education each year by stealth.
They came after it emerged that proposals to issue ID cards to anybody applying for a passport from 2010 have been put off until at least 2012. Instead, young people will now be targeted from 2010.
Tory immigration spokesman Damian Green called the plans “straightforward blackmail” to bolster “a failing policy”.
He added: “The Government have seen their ID cards proposals stagger from shambles to shambles. They are clearly trying to introduce them by stealth.”
The series of leaked documents confirm the plan to issue ID cards alongside passports in 2010 is on hold until at least after the next general election.
The “first priority” is now to issue them from next year to those in “positions of trust” such as airport workers, the reports say.
They add: “Alongside this we should issue ID cards to young people to assist them as they open their first bank account, take out a student loan etc.”
The biometric cards are due to be introduced for foreigners later this year, and issued to UK citizens aged 16 and over on a voluntary basis from 2009.
But Government claims that they would curb illegal migration and combat terrorism have been fiercely criticised.
Asked by a House of Lords committee if ID cards would curb illegal immigration, Professor John Salt, an expert on the subject, said: “No, if they are capable of being forged – and that is probably likely to happen.”
A spokesman for the Identity and Passport Service said: “We are not commenting on the leaked document.”