Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Greens warn young people ‘Beware of ID cards’
Barnet Green Party is urging young people in the borough to shun the government’s new offer to sign them up to the national identity card scheme.
The Home Office this month invited 16- to 24-year-olds in London to apply for identity cards at a cost of £30. For any young person who does apply, up to 50 categories of personal and biometric details about him or her will be added to the National Identity Register. These will include finger prints, National Insurance number, current and past addresses and full history of the card’s use.
There is little or no practical benefit for young people in having the card over other current forms of ID, as shops, bars and other premises don’t have biometric scanners. However, even more worrying than wasting the upfront £30, is that while getting a card will be voluntary, once on the National Identity Register, young people will not be able to get off it, will have to keep the register up to date with their personal details for life and not doing so could lead to a fine of up to £1000.
Also, the life-time cost to the card holder of updating the register and obtaining replacement cards is completely unknown.
Barnet Green Party Youth Officer and Council candidate for Colindale, Zain Sardar says, ‘With the current economic climate, and the pernicious effect this had had on youth and graduate unemployment the last thing we need is for the government to be wasting money when it could easily have been used to help universities fund extra places for students that are currently out of work.
“The London School of Economics estimated the costs of the scheme will be between £10 billion and £20 billion but there is no evidence that this scheme will reduce terrorism or benefit fraud. Thus is a smack in the face for students and young people, who really need the government to invest in their future right now.”