The database contains biographic, biometric fingerprint data
28th May 2010: The UK Government has planned to scrap identity cards for British citizens within 100 days.
Canceling the scheme and abolishing the National Identity Register is a major step in dismantling the surveillance state – but ID cards are just the tip of the iceberg. It marks the start of a series of fundamental reforms to restore hard-won British freedoms.
The National Identity Register, the database which contains the biographic and biometric fingerprint data of card holders, would also be destroyed by the first piece of legislation introduced to Parliament by the alliance government.
Home Secretary Theresa May said that this bill was a first step of many that this government was taking to reduce the control of the state over decent, law-abiding people and hand power back to them.
With swift Parliamentary approval the government aims to pack off identity cards and the intrusive ID card scheme to history within 100 days.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said that the wasteful, bureaucratic and intrusive ID card scheme represents everything that has been wrong with government in recent years.
He added that by taking swift action to scrap it, they were making it clear that this government won’t sacrifice people’s liberty for the sake of ministers’ pet projects.
The Identity Documents Bill is part of a first wave of priority legislation set out in the Queen’s Speech on 25 May. The bill invalidates the identity card, meaning that holders will no longer be able to use them to prove their identity or as a travel document in Europe.
The government aims to have the Bill pass through Parliament and enacted by the Parliamentary recess in August. The move is expected to save the taxpayer around £86m over the next four years once all cancellation costs are taken into account. It would also avoid around £800m of ongoing costs over the next ten years which were to be recovered through fees.
The Identity and passport Service will inform customers, overseas governments, borders and airports of the change in law as soon as the Bill gains Royal Assent.
The role of the Identity Commissioner would also be terminated. The public panels, designed to scrutinize the identity