One in four against ID cards

By Nick Heath

Support for the UK’s national ID card programme continues to plummet as one quarter of people say they are strongly opposed to the scheme.

According to the ICM poll, 25 per cent of those surveyed thought it was a “very bad” idea – up from 17 per cent in September last year.

Opponents of the ID card scheme said the survey of just over 1,000 people, commissioned by the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust, showed the government would be “unable to impose” the cards on the population.

But while 50 per cent said the cards were a bad idea in the ICM poll, 47 per cent of those questioned still thought they were a good idea. And 12 per cent of that group thought they were a ‘very good’ idea.

Phil Booth, national co-ordinator with pressure group NO2ID, said: “It shows that more people don’t want ID cards than do, as is clearly the case across the population.”

He said: “The number of people who look like they will refuse to have one has gone up massively, a quarter of the population are vehemently against them.”

The idea of the government taking data submitted for one use and sharing it between departments also made 52 per cent of respondents uncomfortable.

The poll found the majority support creating a separate database about every child in the UK, creating a central identity register and collecting personal travel details on everyone coming in and out of the UK.

The first ID cards will be introduced for foreign nationals by the end of this year.

The widespread rollout to UK citizens, known as ‘Borders phase II’, is now slated to begin in 2012 – two years later than indicated in an earlier government action plan.