Half of UK opposed to ID cards

Fifty percent of respondents to a survey have said they think ID cards are a 'very bad' or 'bad' idea
Written by Nick Heath, Contributor

Support for the UK's national ID card programme continues to plummet, with one quarter of people saying they are strongly opposed to the scheme.

According to an ICM poll, 25 percent of those surveyed thought it was a "very bad" idea — up from 17 percent in September last year.

Opponents of the ID card scheme said the survey of just over 1,000 people, commissioned by the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust, showed the government would be "unable to impose" the cards on the population.

But, while 50 percent said the cards were a bad idea in the ICM poll, 47 percent of those questioned still thought they were a good idea. And 12 percent of that group thought they were a "very good" idea.

Phil Booth, national co-ordinator with pressure group No2ID, said: "It shows that more people don't want ID cards than do, as is clearly the case across the population."

Booth added: "The number of people who look like they will refuse to have one has gone up massively; a quarter of the population are vehemently against them."

The idea of the government taking data submitted for one use and sharing it between departments also made 52 percent of respondents uncomfortable.

The poll found the majority of respondents support creating a separate database of every child in the UK, creating a central identity register and collecting personal travel details on everyone coming in and out of the UK.

The first ID cards will be introduced for foreign nationals by the end of this year.

The widespread rollout to UK citizens, known as "Borders Phase II", is now slated to begin in 2012 — two years later than indicated in an earlier government action plan.

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