Peter Lilley, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, is continuing his campaign against the government?s plan for compulsory ID cards by publishing a pamphlet arguing that ID cards will become the Labour Party?s poll tax. In ?Identity Crisis ? The Case Against Identity Cards? he says that costs currently put at ?85 each could easily double making it more than the old poll tax. The cards will have next to no effect on crime, terrorism, benefit fraud or illegal immigration. Far better to spend the money on more police on the beat.
Peter Lilley said: “The government?s plan for compulsory identity cards is a bad idea, in a bad bill, introduced for the worst possible motives. The scheme represents an unjustifiable encroachment on liberty in return for at best minor benefits and at huge financial cost ? money which would be better spent on more police or better control of our borders. On the government?s own figures the cost will be ?5.5billion over ten years, so a passport/ID card will cost ?85 per adult. All past experience and independent experts suggest the cost could easily double.
“And if the scheme does not require everyone to carry and produce cards at all times there would be few benefits. Yet if carrying cards is made compulsory even leaving home without one would be an offence.?
Peter Lilley was also the lead speaker in a mass rally against ID cards organised by the No2ID campaign in Cambridge last week.