ID card scheme plan welcomed

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Identity document, Passport, Prime minister tony blair

By Tony Halstead Home Secretary David Blunkett is trying to persuade Prime Minister Tony Blair and fellow cabinet members to back the introduction of...

By Tony Halstead Home Secretary David Blunkett is trying to persuade Prime Minister Tony Blair and fellow cabinet members to back the introduction of a compulsory ID card scheme for everyone in the UK over 16. Most sectors of the industry believe a Government-backed scheme would provide publicans with the one vital tool needed to check the age of young drinkers. Blunkett is reported to be "actively encouraging" fellow Cabinet members to back a new national card, which would also replace passports and driving licences. The £39 forgery-secure card, for all over 16s, would effectively replace other existing proof-of-age schemes and enable licensees and barstaff to recognise one definitive ID card. Federation of Licensed Victuallers chief executive Tony Payne said a national card scheme would not only help licensees detect under age drinkers but tighten up security in a number of other areas. "This is something which we have supported for a long number of years and we believe an all-embracing card would be very useful. "Pub staff would be trained to recognise one single card and while we have supported other initiatives in the past, we believe one national ID card scheme is the best way forward," he said. British Institute of Innkeeping spokeswoman Caroline Nodder said: "Anything which makes a licensee's job easier in detecting under-age drinking is to be welcomed. This scheme would provide a definitive card for publicans to look for." Chief executive of the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers Nick Bish said his association had not entered the general ID card debate. "But we want to see licensees protected, particularly under the new legislation, from any jeopardy from serving under 18s. "This would supply a solution to that problem and while other individual card schemes have been OK, they are second best to a Government initiative," he said. Blunkett has written to fellow Cabinet members to say: "I believe the case for introducing a universal identity scheme is overwhelming. "The consultation exercise showed strong public support for a card scheme and a preference for the term "identity card" rather than "entitlement card".

Related topics: Legislation

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