ID cards plan ‘absurd’ in teeth of recession, says Mason

29 Apr 2009

The former Home Secretary who introduced the idea of ID cards eight years ago has called for the multi-billion pound plans to be scrapped.

SNP MP for Glasgow East, John Mason, welcomed David Blunkett’s turnaround, which echoes SNP demands for Labour to ditch vanity projects like the £5 billion ID cards scheme or the £25 billion cost of replacing Trident at the same time as the Treasury makes a massive real terms cut to the Scottish Budget.

Mr Mason, who represents the East End in Parliament, said:

“David Blunkett’s calls for the scheme to be scrapped eight years after he introduced the plan is an extraordinary turnaround.

“Now that the Treasury has confirmed its plans to make a real terms cut in Scottish spending in the middle of the recession, it is clearer than ever that vanity projects like ID cards and Trident should be ditched completely.

“The SNP opposed ID cards from the very outset. The UK Government’s abysmal record on data protection is reason enough to cancel ID cards but given the dire state of the UK’s finances, these plans are all the more absurd.

“The chorus against ID cards is growing louder by the day. First, Stephen Byers and now David Blunkett.

“Labour in Scotland are now in the embarrassing position of defending Tory-style cuts whilst supporting billions being wasted on weapons of mass destruction and big brother style ID cards.”