Labour will force everyone to give fingerprints at ID card interview centres
By Patrick Hennessy, Political Editor, Sunday Telegraph
Ministers plan to force all adults to travel miles at their own expense to fingerprint scanning units so their details can go onto an identity card database. From 2009, everyone will have to attend one of 69 "interview centres", whose locations are revealed today for the first time.
People without their own transport, such as the elderly and the less well off, will be hit hardest by having to make round trips that in some cases will be more than 100 miles. Somebody living in Cambridge would be forced to make a 62-mile round trip to Bury St Edmunds, while people in Blackpool would have to travel 54 miles to Blackburn and back. In Stranraer, residents face a 128-mile round trip to Kilmarnock.
The revelations are the latest blow for the Government's crisis-hit ID card scheme. Ministers claim the scheme, which will see the first cards issued in two years' time, will cost £5.4 billion, although experts at the London School of Economics say the total bill could be £19.3 billion. Biometric passports, which hold similar personal details to ID cards, will be issued later this year. There will then be a two-year period during which people will be able to apply for a passport without also being forced to apply for an ID card.
From 2010, all passport applicants, even if they are simply renewing their old one, will also have to apply for an identity card.
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And so it begins!