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The Liberal Democrats are calling for people to renew their passports before the start of the summer holidays to evade having to register for an ID card before 2016.

It also wants people to join its "NO2ID Renew for Freedom" campaign because it believes "ID cards will be expensive, intrusive and ineffective".

A party spokesperson told Government Computing News: "We are very concerned about the government's handling of data management, especially with the recent scandal where the work and pensions department gave information to organised criminals.

"The government also keeps changing its mind as to why we need ID cards. There isn't a decent reason for it. We believe the money should be spent on frontline services."

The party's home affairs team applied for their own passports to be renewed this week to prevent their details from being added to the database, due to become operational by 2009.

Liberal Democrats shadow home secretary Nick Clegg said: "The Liberal Democrats were the only party to vote against the introduction of ID cards, and we're making our opposition clear today by buying ourselves 10 years freedom from this unnecessary scheme."

Home Office said: "The database will be a clean database built from scratch. We will not be importing existing information from other databases such as the passport database. It is hard to see what would be achieved, therefore, by renewing a valid passport right now, other than incurring unnecessary expense.

"Identity fraud is one of Britain's fastest growing crimes, we believe there is a pressing need for an improved integrated system of identity authentication. In combination, proposed enhanced background checks, the interview requirement, and the incorporation of biometrics in passports will provide a powerful weapon in the fight against passport fraud."

This article was originally published at Kablenet.

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