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ID card pricing announced

Home Office claims support of 75% of the public

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The cost of a new stand-alone ID card has been set at £30, it was revealed yesterday.

The Home Secretary, Charles Clarke made the announcement in response to a parliamentary question tabled by Martin Salter MP. The stand-alone card will be valid for 10 years and the current estimated cost for a passport and ID card package is estimated at £93.

The cost estimates were calculated "following careful scrutiny of the costs of the ID cards scheme over the summer by the Home Office, in full consultation with Treasury and other Government departments."

Accounting firm KPMG was called in to provide an objective evaluation of the scheme and considered the government’s assessment to be "robust and appropriate for this stage of development."

The ID card can be used for travel within the EU without a passport, applying for jobs, benefits and a bank account.

Mr Clarke also announced the publication of the government's latest research into public support and awareness for the ID card scheme.

The survey was originally undertaken in the first three months of the year and was retaken following the July 2005 London attacks. The report shows there was no significant difference between the results of the two surveys. According to the report, there is strong citizen support for the scheme: 73 per cent are in favour, 17 per cent are opposed while 10 per cent are neutral.

Three-quarters of respondents are prepared to pay £93 for a combined passport and ID card, and £50 for a stand-alone ID card. This compares well with passport penetration in the UK, with 77 per cent of citizens holding one. When asked if they were willing to pay £250 for a combined passport and ID card, and £100 for a stand-alone ID card, 63 per cent agreed.

The UK Passport Service is to begin issuing biometric passports early next year, and a compulsory national ID card scheme will be introduced by 2008.

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