Wednesday, 17 March 2010

The lucky poor. Free ID cards!

The British public bails out the banks and it is then suggested that they could the be used to help curtail our civil liberties.

Kitty Donaldson writes in US magazine Business Week:

The Labour government may ask U.K. banks and supermarkets to subsidize its national identity-card program, paying for documents for poorer customers to attract business.

Home Office minister Meg Hillier said companies might offer to buy the £30 pound cards for people who wouldn’t pay for them otherwise. She named Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group, both part state-owned, as candidates.

"I am keen to hear from business, banks do give incentives to people to open bank accounts. If they are doing that for some clients, would they think of doing that for other groups? Over a lifetime they do make money out of people."

The government’s £4.6 billion programme may see fingerprint readers installed in banks, post offices, courts and schools as a means of checking people are who they say they are. Hillier also said the government has heard suggestions from local authorities that ID cards could replace passes providing free local bus travel for the over-60s!

What a come down for the previous rationale for ID cards as a method for combating terrorism and organised crime.

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