UK ID cards being mooted first for Scotland?

The tartan tag

Despite the UK Government apparently taking a step back from ID cards earlier this year, moves are afoot to introduce the scheme in Scotland. From a brief BBC Scotland report it would appear that the Labour Party's apparatchiks north of the border haven't heard the news.

Or possibly, the country that was used to pioneer some of the Thatcher Government's more interesting experiments in taxation is once again going to act as the beta test site. Surely not...

ID, aka entitlement cards were the subject of a ludicrously obscure consultation exercise which ended earlier this year. Government spinners had first talked the consultation up as being largely pro-cards, but were subsequently - one surmises - overwhelmed by adverse reactions. The theory is that a 'voluntary' system of entitlement cards would be used by citizens wishing to access government services, however such a system would clearly escalate into one that was to all intents and purposes compulsory.

According to BBC Scotland the latest move comes in a pre-manifesto Scottish Labour Party document which says "we will introduce a national electronic entitlement card for all public services." The Scottish elections take place on 1st May, and as Labour's manifesto has not yet been published it's not clear whether or not this pledge makes it into the document. But we should know soon enough. ®

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