ID cards are staying voluntary… for now

It is unlikely that UK citizens will be made to get an ID card for ‘several years’ a minister said.

Liam Byrne has said on the Today programme that the voluntary scheme, which will come into force in 2009, will need time to “run in”. To make ID cards compulsory, parliament would have to pass new legislation, he said. When asked on the programme if the government would be drawing up legislation this year, Byrne said they were keeping ID cards voluntary for now, but the government remained enthusiastic about compulsory ID cards in the future.

Former Home Secretary David Blunkett, who introduced the initial identity card bill, said the scheme would not work unless everyone had to have a card.

“In my opinion, without it being mandatory, there is little point in doing it,” he said.