Students will be “blackmailed” into holding identity cards in order to apply for student loans, the Tories have warned.
According to Home Office documents leaked to the Conservative party last night, those applying for student loans will be forced to hold identity cards to get the funding from 2010.
Anyone aged 16 or over will be expected to obtain a card – costing up to £100 – to open a bank account or apply for a student loan.
The document says: “We should issue ID cards to young people to assist them as they open their first bank account, take out a student loan, etc.”
The only ‘difficulty’ in opening a bank account these days is the insistence on ‘official’ identification, and that requirement was a result of government legislation rather than the banks. It is quite simple to verify if a student attends a college or university by liaising with the admissions department, the combination of a university issued card and letter of enrolment should suffice.
Unfortunately these children will probably have been inured to the various incursions into their ‘privacy’ that we have all read about – metal detectors at school entrances, fingerprinting to use library books or at registration, etc.
The government had planned to start issuing the ID cards to people applying for a passport from 2010, but confidential documents confirm that the scheme will be delayed to at least 2012.
Not good enough, especially if the NIR ‘linked databases’ are being bedded-in anywa before then, and ‘voluntary’ cards issued almost immediately.
The biometric cards are due to be introduced for foreign nationals later this year, with the first expected to be issued to UK citizens on a voluntary basis from 2009.
As you see ‘2012’ is a red herring.
From next year, they will also be issued to people in “positions of trust” such as airport workers.
Edit to add: The government should also not be directly intervening in the terms of employment between a person and a private company. At most a private company that operates in a ‘secure environment’ should demonstrate the principle and efficacy of the company’s security audits when it tenders for its contract. As we know ID cards and biometric databases tell you nothing of a person’s intentions and as such should not be a condition of employment in any case.
The revelations have led to concerns that the government is planning to collect the fingerprints and other biometric details of more than two million young people entering higher education each year by stealth.
This is so ridiculous that anyone should see that the ‘need’ to create such a database is non-existant
Shadow immigration minister Damian Green called the plans “straightforward blackmail” to bolster “a failing policy”.
… and we reaffirm our commitment to dismantle the project completely?!?
“This is an outrageous plan. The government has seen its ID cards proposals stagger from shambles to shambles. They are clearly trying to introduce them by stealth.”
Indeed, they are so unpalatable that they would be rejected outright otherwise.