No2ID slams Labour's election pledge on ID Cards

No2ID has attacked the Labour Election manifesto, which claimed that ID Cards would not be made compulsory if it was re-elected on May 6.

The organisation has described the document as “coercion” and accused the Government of using every tactic possible to remain in power.

Labour released its election manifesto containing a number of IT-related commitments earlier today, one of the key points being  a guarantee that its ID card scheme, which it has always said would be a key weapon against ID theft and terrorism, will not be made compulsory for at least five years.

“The new biometric ID scheme, which already covers foreign nationals, will be offered to an increasing number of British citizens, but will not be compulsory for them,” said the statement.

However Michael Parker a representative for No2ID claimed the statement was incorrect . “Labour has been saying these ID cards will not be compulsory for many years, but it’s all coercion,” he told TechEye.

“Eventually you’ll need an ID Card to register for a job, get benefits and also to prove who you are. To say that Labour is stepping down with this is incorrect.  It’s just a way to gain more voters.”

The Liberal Democrats also said that the plan wasn’t a climb down following, Alan Johnson claiming that that ID cards would “always be voluntary” for British citizens,  in 2009.
Liberal Democrat Shadow Home Secretary Chris Huhne told TechEye: “Labour’s illiberal ID cards policy is now so voluntary only Home Office mandarins seeking promotion will have them.

“This ridiculous, expensive and intrusive plan should be ditched now. The vast amount of money would be far better spent on something that will actually fight crime and terrorism – three thousand more police on the street.”

We contacted both the Labour Party and the Conservative Party for comments. Neither responded by the time we went to press.