back to article National Identity Card holding chumps have buyer's remorse

The horror that was the National Identity scheme may be dead - its end pronounced yesterday – but it is not altogether gone and now, zombie-like, supporters of the ID card are returning to haunt the Coalition. And while el Reg has not been known for its support of the scheme – or the NI register that under-pinned it – it is …


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  1. Anonymous Coward


    that people are not getting refunds, the dumb-ass stupid scheme cost us money as it was and the tories said they would kill it when they came to power. It was obvious that Labour would not win, so more fool them.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Easy answer..

      New Labour wanted it, I think the refunds should be paid out of their party's funds..

      1. Thomas 4

        Starting to wish I'd got one now...

        ...then I could have taken a wad of cash off the Government for compensation as well. Hey ho.

    2. foo_bar_baz

      How about

      They paid the state for a service (convenience of the card vs. other methods of identification), so shouldn't they get their money's worth? People complain about how inefficient public services are vs. private ones, shouldn't we hold them up to the same standard in this regard?

      "Sorry, Microsoft has a new CEO so you understand why we've stopped supporting Windows 7 in December 2010. Please use Windows 2011 instead."

      1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge


        I think your example would be more like "Because of a change of management, we are stopping supporting Vista, but reverting back to the previously existing, and perfectly adequate, Windows XP. There was no need to change, so you will get no refunds".

        In principle, there is nothing nothing wrong with a plain ID card, without all the registers etc behind them (though I would be very reluctant to carry one). However, since so few have been produced, it makes no sense to allow them to have validity. Indeed, having an ID with a short production run would encourage people to try to fake them, working on the basis that they will not be easily recognised by people looking at them, and may cause confusion sufficient to allow them to e.g. travel without proper documentation.

  2. Ian Stephenson

    £30 x 30,000 people

    only £900,000 by my calculation. A drop in the ocean compared to what has already been sprayed up the wall on this already.

    Though maybe knock off 1 years worth (£3) of use already had and maybe a 50% stupidity tax for getting one in the first place... I mean refund processing administration fee. Only pay back less than half a million.

    Give them a refund!

    1. 7mark7

      No refunds!

      If you bought one of these in the first place, you were either a journalist writing about them or an idiot.

      The journalists have made a good return on their investment and the idiots will only spend the refund on drugs or a subscription to Hello magazine.

      I must admit that I kindle a hope that the list of tw*ts who got one of these appears on Wikileaks.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      £30 x 30,000 people = £900,000

      £30 x 30,000 people = £900,000 is true but the cards were so easy to forge, they've allowed for paying an additional 600,000 'people'. :-)

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    If you buy into a failed format you don't get your investment back. Live with it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      But whilst we're trying this approach

      Will the government compensate me for buying an HD-DVD player?

      1. jonathanb Silver badge

        re: HD-DVD

        No, because you can still use it. When you bought your player, there was no promise that unrelated third party movie studios would produce appropriate media for it in the future. If the manufacturer remotely disabled your player, then you would have a case.

    2. Graham Marsden


      You mean I can't get a refund for my Betamax VCR or my DAB radio or my DAT player or my Mini Disc player or...

  4. Blofeld's Cat


    I have no sympathy for the people who paid out money for a card that was never wanted, changed its purpose many times and was widely known to be doomed.

    The actual cost of preparing the cards far exceeded the heavily subsidised charge the early adopters paid anyway.

    Can I politely suggest that if you have an ID card you wish to cash in, you try flogging it on eBay. Failing that you could have it framed and hang it in a prominent place to remind you not to be so stupid again.

  5. Randolf McKinley
    Thumb Up

    Ha ha ha ha ha ...

    Frankly I think that anyone stupid enough to sign up for a card voluntarily deserves to lose the money - think of it as a tax on the stupid for being stupid.

  6. MJI Silver badge

    A fool and his money are easily parted.

    The writing was on the wall before they were implemented so no refunds.

  7. Neil 8

    Not much sympathy for Ms Epstein

    I have a fair bit of sympathy for the average Joe who paid for a card in good faith that it would be useful to them personally & last 10 years, I suppose.

    Ms Epstein, though, doesn't deserve a refund any more than anyone else who bets on a lame horse. She was first in the queue to hand over her rights so she could be the public face of ID cards, and can't pretend that she didn't know the cards were politically unpopular and destined to be scrapped following a reasonably likely change of government.

    See it as a £30 donation to our financially troubled government, Ms Epstein.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Am I a bastard

    for thinking that they should claim the £30 was simply paying for the card itself? I.e. you haven't had to surrender the card, so consider it a £30 tool for scraping your windscreen, grouting or whatever!

    1. Wize

      I used my discount card for scraping my car windscreen...

      ...I only got 20% off.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just pay up and get it over with.

    The people that paid will be moaning on about this forever unless they get their money back.

    Saying that a refund will come out of taxes is a bit silly anyway as they've already taken the money off these chumps, so if they pay up it will all be behind us like a bad movie.

    1. Paul RND*1000

      Let them moan

      It's better entertainment than anything on telly.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. NFH


      It's likely that the Government will be taken to court for the lack of refunds. The Identity Documents Act 2010 removes a property right without any compensation, in breach of Article 1 of the First Protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights. See Lord Pannick's comments in the House of Lords at

      The Government said that a £30 refund would come out of taxpayers' money. However, it would come out of card holders' money. Card holders paid the original £30, not the taxpayer. The decision to scrap the infrastructure before recouping the costs through selling enough cards was by the Government, not by card holders. Therefore card holders should not be expected to foot the bill for the premature cancellation of the scheme.

  10. James O'Shea Silver badge

    pay up

    Either let the silly things run for the duration of their advertised life or give back the money. It's only fair.

    1. hplasm


      To use the rhetoric of the twats they gave the cash to-

      "Lessons will be learned..."

      If they don't get a refund.

      ( I hate that phrase......grrrr.)

  11. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    Legal arithmetic

    If it goes to court, may I be the first to point out that 30000 times £30 is probably less than the cost of the legal team that the government will use in its defence.

    1. CaptainHook

      Government Laywers

      Wouldn't they be Government laywers?

      I.e. they get paid the same if they are sitting in an office making paper airplanes or if they are preparing the defence for a court case.

  12. Tricky Dicky

    No doubt

    More tax payers money will be wasted discussing the refund and defending the lack of a refund etc than the cost of actually making a refund which would be £900K + admin costs.

    1. IglooDude

      And surely...

      ...the admin costs cannot be too great? I mean, they've got the database of verified names and addresses sitting right there, by definition.

      I'm not a fan of refunds in this case due to the principles involved; the "it's too expensive" argument doesn't strike me as a particularly good one.

      1. mr_chris


        "they've got the database of verified names and addresses sitting right there, by definition"

        Nah, it's probably on a USB pen drive somewhere...

        Mine's the one with the hole in the pockets...

  13. Pete 2 Silver badge

    A cheap lesson

    There's a saying that if you lend a "friend" £10 and they don't pay you back that tenner was an investment, not a loss.

    So be it with ID cards, maybe now people will be less enthusiastic about splashing money on silly, government sponsored, ideas. Maybe the present government should offer all these gullible ID card holder a frame to put them in and hang somewhere prominent. It could be tastefully inscribed with something like:

    The cost of trusting your government

  14. Doctor_Wibble

    emptor caveat, probably

    I'm not sure what anyone thinks they will be refunded for - the £30 is an enrolment fee, and they have the card to prove that they were indeed in receipt of said service.

    As with passports, you do not *own* them, you are the keeper and they remain the property of the government (or issuing office or secretary of state, whatever).

    It will all be in the small print somewhere...

    1. NFH

      Not an enrolment fee

      Doctor Wibble, the £30 was not an enrolment fee. £30 was payable for the card, not for enrolling into the scheme. If the card was lost or stolen, a further £30 fee was payable for a replacement. The £30 was for a travel document with a 10-year validity.

  15. KjetilS


    Just classify the £30 as a one-time tax on stupidity and/or ignorance. No need to give a refund.

  16. Natalie Gritpants


    Surely all those 30000 people are on the database and so their name and address have been verified. Just post a cheque for £30 to each one. job done for less than £1m

  17. Anonymous Coward


    Basically, if you were stupid enough to stump up £30 in support of a totalitarian regime then you dont deserve to live in the uk. Tell you what. Lets offer them all free refunds available for collection from your nearest RAF base and when these leftie idiots turn up at the gate, Stick them on a military transport for rendition to some banana republic. The less labour voters the better

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @ Anonymous re: Idiots

      Did you stop to think that your solution would befit a totalitarian regime?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Or even better...

      Let's do that, but broaden it to include those who anonymously post stupid, inflammatory comments on web forums. Oh, hang on...

  18. beerandbiscuits


    The only people who got an id card were the die hard enthusiasts who knew all the arguments and also knew the positions of all the political parties.

    They got the card in the knowledge that they would be scrapped and when there was no assurance that they would get their money back. More fool them.

    It was the very few people like that who lumbered the rest of us with the enormous cost of the whole project so as far as I'm concerned it's only fair that they should pay more.

    No sympathy here.

    1. veti Silver badge

      ... to each according to their needs

      Quite. And if these freelance journalists and "investment banking consultants" are likely to starve for want of thirty quid, then just maybe they shouldn't have spent it in the first place.

      Seriously, could you imagine any *less* sympathetic plaintiffs?

  19. GrumpyJoe
    Thumb Up

    Caveat Emptor

    Most of us realised that the scheme was doomed to failure - those that didn't should suck it up (unless they had to purchase it for a mandatory reason - were there any of those?)

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dear 30,000 morons.

    Tough titty, it's called living in a democracy.

    I did not vote for going to war, nor umpteen tax rises, new stealth taxes, massive intrusions on my privacy or the utter ruin of the UK economy. Yet as a UK citizen I endured these things and did what I could about it, I tried to vote the grinning twunt and his sidekick out. It took three attempts to get rid but while they ran things I paid my ballooning taxes, supported our troops and despairingly watched UK Ltd circle the fiscal drain. In other words, I lived in a democracy.

    Sheesh, 2 people feel inconvenienced and it gets air time? What a waste.

  21. jason 7

    I admire someones balls......

    ....they they can say with a straight face that the cost to refund £900000 to members of the public will cost £20 million.

    Of that actual 30000 maybe 40% at best would ask for a refund, lets say 50%, thats £1333 cost to send out a cheque for £30.

    Gotta love big business.

    1. Tigra 07

      RE: Jason 7

      Wait til it gets reported in the Daily Mail, nobody will put 2+2 together to notice that and i bet the majority of their sites commentors actually own these cards.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If the cards were useful then what are they complaining about?

    Both the people cited admit that they used their ID cards, which means that value has been received. Presumably, therefore, their case would be that HM Gov broke an implied contract by terminating the service earlier than expected, which doesn't entitle anyone to a full refund.

  23. Velv

    Seriously ?

    "Lord Phillips of Sudbury reckoned that few ordinary members of the public would have read the manifestoes"

    And even if they HAD read the manifestoes, would anyine base their voting decision on the refund or not of a £30 fee???

    Which just goes to prove two things:

    The political system is so up it's own behind in the spin that it is no longer relevant to Joe Public; and

    The voting public are stupid.

  24. Anonymous Coward

    Waste of money

    Why is it that governments love to waste hundreds of millions of pounds on useless junk? All the money that is being wasted would have been useful for repairing schools.

    I am in two minds about those who bought an ID card. At one point I think, it's their fault, they wanted the ID cards, so tough luck. On the other side, there are some who seem very easily hoodwinked by Tony Blair's grin that ID cards are the saviours of the world.

    The government has very happily been brainwashing people to accept all that the police and the government says about things. Now the gullible majority just accept what the government and the media says. The people in power had free university education and are now raising prices of tuition fees. Students demonstrate and the police put Charles and Camilla within angry student protests and now everyone hates students. Instead of debating the issue, all people see are violent students. Job done, brainwashing completed.

  25. Peter Galbavy

    sob sob sob

    My heart bleeds...

  26. TeeCee Gold badge

    Terribly sorry, but....

    .....if you are stupid enough to have not spotted that these things had "white elephant" written all over them, you should be bloody glad you're only out 30 quid.

    Most badly run scams would take you for rather more than that.

    I must say though, I find the fact quite cheering that with the British economy the way it is an "Investment Banking Consultant" finds it necessary to get his 30 quid back. No new Porsche this year then I take it?

    1. NFH

      I preferred cards to remain valid

      TeeCee, I didn't advocate my £30 to be refunded. I asked for the cards to remain valid as travel documents until their promised expiry dates. This was a cheaper option for the Government and better all round.

      However, now that the Government intends to invalidate the cards unnecessarily, I shall instead ask for my £30 back out of principle. It makes no difference whether it is £30 or 30p. It's a principle of consumer rights and contract law that is much more significant than my own £30.

  27. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse
    Thumb Down

    In a Government where...

    Projects are measured on how much they cost rather than the benefits they bring, may I suggest a very simple solution:

    Cost up both options (refunds vs maintaining systems to process existing cards over 5 years) then choose the cheaper.

    Then move the f**k on.

    1. NFH

      Cost of maintaining validity of existing ID cards

      "Cost up both options (refunds vs maintaining systems to process existing cards over 5 years) then choose the cheaper"

      The cheaper is the latter. No systems need to be maintained for existing ID cards to remain valid. Before Royal Assent was given and while the cards remain valid, the ID card customer service line 0300 330 0000 has already been taken out of service; no new cards are being issued; and according to Damian Green "All IT equipment has been withdrawn from operation as part of the ID card decommissioning activities and securely stored".

      UK Border Agency immigration officers at UK ports of entry have no access to the NIR, to the passport database or to any other “whitelist” of valid travel documents. They instead rely simply on their expertise to spot forgeries and have access only to a “blacklist” of lost and stolen travel documents, which include those issued by other countries. Therefore it is feasible for existing ID cards to remain valid as travel documents until their expiry dates without either retaining the NIR or migrating data to the passport database, particularly in light of the cards’ advanced security features. There would also be no requirement to maintain an infrastructure to issue replacements for lost and stolen cards, given that the original £30 fee did not cover replacements.

      The Government has unfortunately chosen the more expensive option of paying refunds, which it will be ultimately forced to do as a result of removing a property right without any compensation in breach of Article 1 of the First Protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights.

  28. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    This cannot be serious, surely?

    For those ID-carders who moan they cannot get a refund I have about as much sympathy as for the those individuals who happily provide their banking details, credit card numbers, pins and login passwords in reply to emails from - you just have to apply some common sense before giving your details to scammers, be they from Nigeria or from a Labour Government.

    To the Investment Banking Consultant - life if tough, mate. Go ask your boss for a hardship bonus.

  29. Anonymous John


    If you bet on a horse and it loses, you don't get your money back. Think of it as a £30 bet on the Labour party winning the last election, and stop whinging.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    hanging is too good for them...

    So 30k toadies willing to sacrifice their privacy for a crack-brained ID Big Brother scheme are upset that they are out 30 quid? Like collaborators in war time there should be show trials and public executions. Or at the very least a slap across the back of the head for being such willing bootlickers.

    We need a picture of Nelson Muntz pointing and saying "Ha Ha!"

  31. Anonymous Coward

    Hang on a minute....

    "Mr Hodder points out that at UK Borders, the only check made is whether cards or passports are blacklisted. "

    I thought the Immigration officials checked a bit more than this. Is the passport Valid, does the holder look as described in the description and Photo, Is the reason for Entry acceptable and in compliance with any Visa?

    Sounds like this fellow is a bit of a Banker - sorry!

    1. NFH

      Clarification of my words

      To clarify in response to Anonymous Coward's quoting of me, my exact words on BBC1 were "Immigration officers at UK points of entry have no access to the National Identity Register or the Passport Database. They have access only to a blacklist of lost and stolen travel documents. Therefore by removing the National Identity Register, there is no need for existing ID cards to be invalidated. They could continue to be used perfectly feasibly until their expiry dates". See Given that there was no reason for existing travel documents to be cancelled as a result of the new government's proposed scrapping of the scheme and no party's manifesto stated that such cancellation would take place, I bought an ID card in good faith.

  32. AndrueC Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    30 quid?

    For being taught to distrust government policy?

    Sounds like a bargain to me.

  33. Chrissy
    Big Brother

    No sympathy

    Cardholders' own fault I'm afraid....

    Cardholders should write their loss off as an Idiot Tax or alternatively as an Educational fee teaching them "Why I should not give any more than the bare minimum personal data to any organisation, ever" - with the Card itself as their proof of having failed the course.

  34. Mike Street


    It was a Stupid Tax voluntarily paid by stupid people. I have no sympathy with them at all.

  35. Anonymous Coward

    No no no no no no no no

    these are the "nothing to hide, nothing to fear" brigade. They *need* to be taught to fear the state. Logical argument failed. Maybe a £30 tax will help.

    And as for that dreadful "journalist", if she didn't claim her £30 on expenses, she's not a very bright bunny. If she gets a refund, I suggest she returns the cash she got for "writing" about the damned cards.

    Unfortunately, the way things are going, 30,000 people will sound like a landslide to the LIbDems, so I suspect we'll see some weaselly cop-out cough-up.

    IDEA ... we'll refund your fee, when you can verify your ID. But you can't use an ID card .....

  36. adnim

    No sympathy here

    These people supported the scheme. It is this kind of blind acceptance by the sheep which gave the scheme some kind of credence and the impression that such a scheme might actually be accepted by the rest of us.

  37. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    A fool and his money ...

    Identity card holders are welcome to get their £30 back after they pay back the £292million wasted on the scheme. I hope the loss of £30 teaches them to be less gullible than 419 victims.

  38. Richard Porter
    Thumb Up

    Oh come on!

    The opposition parties at the time made it clear that they would scrap ID cards. Anyone who bought one should have known that their money would be going down the pan if New Labour (TM) was defeated. Anyway look at it as a collectable. It won't be long before they are changing hands on fleabay!

  39. Colin Millar

    Scam victims

    They will never learn if they never have to pay the price of their own folly - whether the scamster is a russian online crim or their own Gov.

    I say that we should divide the total cost between the saps who signed up for it and charge em £10k each - thus saving the innocent taxpayer £300m and teaching 30,000 suckers a valuable lesson for the price of a single uni year.

  40. Anonymous Coward

    Though I can't understand the people who paid for one...

    ... I do believe that they should be refunded. They were told by the government of the time that they would receive something of value (to them), only for it to be made obsolete. They should not be penalised for taking our elected representatives at their word- even if this faith shows a touching naivety.

    Personally, I disliked the idea of ID cards and would have joined the ranks of those who refused it- had it come to that. One of the few remaining advantages of being a Britisher is being able to walk out of your own home with nothing in your pockets, should you so choose.

    (Though fags, keys, phone and beer tokens usually reside in my trouser pouches 99/100)

    1. John G Imrie


      They were told by the government of the time that they would receive something of value (to them), only for it to be made obsolete.

      In that case can I have my index linked pension back please.

      When I started paying NI all those years ago I was told I would have one.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    No sympathy

    Especially for Ms Epstein, a well known windbag whom jumps on anything to further her "journalistic" (sic) career.

    Both of these numpties KNEW that if lay-bore were kicked out, so to was the ID card scheme, but STILL went ahead.

    99% of the populace have managed without one. Why should i have to fork out AGAIN for this dead-in-the-water scheme to appease her self-righteous attitude. You spent the money, you were fore warned, you ignored that warning. Besides, i doubt 30 quid made a huge dent in her salary. Go deal with it...

    Frankly BUHAAAAA...

  42. Anonymous Coward

    £20m does seem like a joke

    If the amount to be refunded is ~£900k to 30,000 people (holding a detailed set of records of their identity, that being rather the point) then surely a couple of clerks with the list of names, a pen for crossing them out, and cheque book & a PO Box number for people to send some suitable ID [perhaps their defunct card] is pretty much all that's required?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      ahhh, but no, but yeh no but yeah....

      In every other company in the world that has to issue a refund that will be exactly how it’s done...

      But this is gubbermint here... and It makes no difference if its double mint of spearmint...

      (Have you got your counting beans at the ready)

      First of all you have to employ the people to administer the refunds which will mean a national newspaper advert for applicants. Followed by multiple interview sites across the country (most probably in 5 star hotel conference suites)

      Then you have to assemble all your staff in a single location for a induction course. Followed by a team building weekend... All paid for by the state...

      after this, you then will have to get your staff together in each local area and have a local induction and yet again another team building weekend for the staff that will be working together (in another 5 star hotel conference suite) followed by a 3 week job training program

      At the same time office space will need to be acquired, furnished and rent paid..Stationary will have to be designed then translating into 50 different languages. Then a print run of 60,000 of each form in each language...PO Boxes set up for postal services. Pens with the department’s logo on it. (Not forgetting a stupid fee for some design company to create the logo) telephone services, other office stationary commissioned (telephone messages pads etc database to hold the information of the people that have been paid the refund.

      then statistics will have to be looked at on the staff that have been employed and made sure that equal opportunities have been maintained (employ additional staff if not) spend thousands of pounds to make sure each office is "disability friendly" and specialist equipment to accommodate.

      And all this before a single refund has been issued....

      Once refunding is in process, you will have to monitor staff performance, then any under-performing staff to be re-trained. Have the forms re-printed because of a typo and adding a further 3 languages to the print run. Emergency employment of a translator. Then employ more IT services once you discover that the database of people holding ID cards is not compatible with the database of those that have been paid.

      Then we have the expenses of closing the operation down once refunds have been made (I think i need more counting beans)

      There is the recycling costs of the waste paper, the enquiry into the lost memory stick containing the databases) the deletion of all the personal information on the identity card databases. The disposal of all the office furniture, the help that is needed in finding new employment for redundant staff...

      Plus thousands of other things that I have forgotten about when it comes to government operations...

      To be honest, £20M is probably not going to be enough...

  43. david bates
    Thumb Up

    Surely the card will not be recalled?

    Ms Epstein can keep her card, and in this inclement weather it'll come in very handy for de-icing the car. She can also use it to break into her house if she loses the key, and pop it under the leg of a wobbly table. Plus if she suffers total amnesia a quick glance in her purse will set her to rights.

    Based on how much a Leatherman costs I think she got a bargain.

    PLUS she's helped the economy in two ways - she selflessly gave money to the goverment without coercion, and she helped populate the list of SPECTACULARLY gullible people which will be worth a FORTUNE on the spam market. I salute her.

  44. Tim #3


    Surely the vast majority of buyers were on Labour's payroll and claimed it on expenses anyway.

  45. Ally J

    My heart bleeds

    The people who bought into this knew they were buying into something deeply unpopular with a significant portion of the public, and unlikely to be supported when there was a change of government. They paid the princely (and probably heavily subsidised) price of £30 to be faintly controversial, and now they want that £30 back?

    These chancers should apply for a refund to Labour Party. They championed this silliness, and can raise the funds by, say, flogging off a peerage or two.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    diminishing returns

    However peeved you feel, and whatever the point of principle, pursuing the government through the courts for the return of some fraction of the £30 fee doesn't really seem worth the effort.

    The £30 was a speculative investment by people who could afford to loose the money. They should just get over it.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Can't believe these whingers. It was only £30. If you buy something and the company goes out of business then you've lost your money. The end.

    If these idiots thought about it then they could stash the cards safely for their grandchildren's benefit. They would probably fetch a decent price in centuries to come.

    1. NFH

      Contract law

      There is no parallel with a company going out of business. A better parallel would be the one I stated in the BBC programme: if a commercial organisation did the same thing and sold a service with an up-front payment of £30 for ten years, and then new management came in and decided to cease offering the service and not to give refunds in order to save money for its shareholders, they would be taken to court for breach of contract and would lose. The Government should behave in the same way that it expects commercial organisations to behave and honour the concept of consumer rights.

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Selfish chumps got what they deserve.

    They were willing to sell all the rest up the river, giving away a chunk of *our* hard-won democractic freedom and privacy for *their* perceived personal benefit and minor convenience. Screw them. Thirty quid is a trivial slap on the wrist to remind them that they're part of a society and their decisions have consequences on other people not just themselves.

    1. M Gale


      ...because that "part of society" stuff is the exact argument the fascist bastards would have used to force the rest of us into the scam, had Labour won another term.

      The irony is delicious.

  49. skellious

    Such a shame

    While Mandatory ID cards were doomed to failure, voluntary ones, which you could take yourself off the database for at any time by handing your ID card in, would have been really useful. I likewise loath having to carry my passport all the time in Europe. I would have much prefered to have an ID card, but the stupipdity of all governments means they do this endless scrap the old government initiatives and waste more money doing so approach, which wont be resolved until we have true coalition government (all three major parties)

  50. Geoff Mackenzie

    All in favour of a refund

    ... in cases where the buyer was mislead. The seller should refund them though, and the rest of us - we all paid to support this project, regardless of what we thought of it. I suggest we find the people who were pushing this and get them all to chip in personally, not just for the 30,000 with the cards, but for the rest of us as well.

  51. Tom 38


    Most cards that I have do not actually belong to me - I am granted possession of them at the whim of the card issuer, who can revoke that right at any time.

    Given this precedent, I see no problem with classifying the £30 fee as a processing fee in order to issue the card, and not give refunds. Once they had the card in their hands, they had their £30 worth.

    TBH, I'm wondering if there is any case for requiring a recall of all issued cards, and charging these fucknuts £30 a piece for that as well. Clearly they have money to burn.

  52. JP19


    From seems half these 30,000 were issued after the scheme was known to be scrapped and it was on the cards long before that.

    Perhaps a special arsehole tax on the last government Labour MPs could be introduced to cover these refunds.

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If they'd been forced to get a card...

    ...then I'd have some sympathy for them, but not when the cards were always voluntary for British citizens. They chose to get one full knowing that two of the three main parties (including one that was always ahead in the opinion polls) were committed to scrapping the cards.

  54. Iain 14

    Beta Testing

    The thing is: the voluntary ID Greater Manchester scheme that Ms Epstein and others signed up for was a PILOT scheme. They were therefore fully aware when they handed over their £30 that the scheme might be pulled at some point before being rolled-out nationwide.

    If they thought it was a good idea to actually pay full whack for the privilege of helping the government trial this piece of nonsense, more fool them...

  55. Anonymous Coward

    Why refund just them

    I'm on my 5th time of paying to renew the "one time payment for lifelong driving" license that I have had since the 70's, now i have to pay every 10 years to change my picture.

    learn from it, nothing "lifelong" is ever that.

    Didnt they learn from getting the BSB Squariel box that you dont get a refund on failed idea's?

  56. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    My brain hurts

    A Daily Mail 'journalist' was first in the queue to support labour's silly idea.

    They are now complaining that the Tories are NOT throwing taxpayers money around to idiots.

    Did we pass through some strange wormhole into a parallel universe - again ?

  57. carl 10

    Another argument.....

    There was NOTHING that could be done with these cards that could not have been done using a passport or other ID such as a UK driving licence.

    Therefore as these cards were neither essential nor unavoidable they were something that presumably only those that could afford to throw money away on one would have spent out on. Nobody who spent £30 on one deprived their family of food to get one.

    If they are willing to throw their money away on this they don't deserve their £30 back. A fool and his money and all that... As others have said, their willingness to sign up for this idiotic scheme has cost this country far more than what they as individuals have lost.

  58. IsJustabloke

    I refuse to enoble a simple forum post....

    How will refunding £900,000 cost £20 mil

    After all, its not like they don't know where these people live.... print off the cheques, smack 'em in the post.

    let's see... say £5k for cheques (generous I reckon, 30k 2nd class @32p ea = £9600

    Grand total : say £915,000

    Seriously, where does he get £20mil from?

    anyway, just pay the idiots so we can draw a line under the whole sorry episode.

  59. Ku...

    £30 is nothing

    There are people who have lost a lot more than £30 over this fiasco. Huge job culls at the Passport Office for example to make back the money HM Govt. can't get back on contracts but had budgeted for anyway (cancellation clauses including huge financial penalties). When people who have nothing to do with the introduction and cancelation of ID Cards and all that get made redundant to pay for government policy whims then £30 seems like nothing.

  60. Anonymous Coward

    Better idea ...

    do what the tabloids do when they have to pay damages to rich people .... refund the £30 and donate it to charity.

  61. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Refund whenever law changes

    If the government gave a refund for the stupid* losers who bought the identidy cards then it would set a precedent that the goverment would have to give refunds to everyone everytime they changed the law and some group felt they had lost out.

    * Stupid, because if they were so keen to get the cards they will have known about the issues surrounding them and that the potentially new goverment was not keen on them. The old one didn't exactly push the boat out either.

  62. Chris 15

    well hang on here

    It's a shame about all of this, because an ID card without all of the national identity register backend - and all that it entails (which was the bit I objected to) - being a single identity document card with LOCAL, NONRETAINED verification that the cardholder is indeed the authorised cardholder would be a Good Idea. Such a shame that bureaucrats in Whitehall would never allow such a simple, effective device without the backend.

    1. TelePom
      Big Brother


      How useful would that really be? It would be simple to forge. It was the underlying database of complex unforge-able data that made it "secure". Without the database, it's just an expensive bus-pass. I'm not arguing in favour of the stupid thing, far from it, but a stand-alone ID card would be about as much use as a margarine dildo.

  63. Another One


    I really don't understand why there is this desire to call those that purchased their ID cards as stupid. I also still don't understand the UK's continual negativity to the concept of an ID card. Many harp on about hard won democratic freedoms. When were these won - and by whom? I would say that at least 80% of the posters on this board have done nothing to fight for their rights but they are happy to consume them.

    In the rest of Europe - ID cards are accepted and used for crossing borders etc. ID cards from say The Netherlands can be used to enter the UK. In many ways they are a substitute for a passport.

    Anyways - That argument is obviously beyond a lot of people so - why worry.

    I hear so much moaning and bitching about the UK and how bad things are with the Government and wasting money and life's not fair and all that crap so to paraphrase what one Australian PM said...

    "You also have the right to leave".

    Myself? I fucked off from the UK a long time ago - I didn't moan or bitch - I did something about it. I didn't make myself the victim. At the risk of being a troll I would suggest those that don't like it do something to improve their own situation.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      "Myself? I fucked off from the UK a long time ago"

      So you have no right to comment or pass judgement on others regarding UK political / social matters that have no relavance to you.

      May i ask, does your country of residence have an ID card and if it does, does it require your fingerprints, DNA imprint, iris image, size of shoe, past history of ANY minor crimes commited (littering for example)? etc etc. Or does it contain just enough info to prove (beyond reasonable doubt) that you are whom you purport to be?

      NOW you know why we objected....

    2. Anonymous Coward

      there's ID cards, and then there's ID cards

      The card is one thing, the ID database is another.

      An obligation to carry a card is out of keeping with our national sense of what it is to be free. But, granted, it works for others.

      But then, the new German ID card system is based on serious privacy-preserving principles. It might or might not have been acceptable here, but it would have been *much* *much* better than the big-brother nonsense foisted upon us. It has *real* use for the citizen as well as for the state.

      A Europe-wide design, based on the German system would be fine as far as I'm concerned, but it isn't going to happen. The biggest problem with NuLab's ID system was that it didn't have a clear objective, so its requirements were invented on a whim and it wasn't fit for any particular purpose, but nevertheless pissed off an awful lot of people.

    3. M Gale

      Not stupidity. Blind obedience. Either way it needs to stop.

      The Netherlands. Funny you should mention that.

      See, now if you're Dutch, you have to have some form of identification on you at ALL TIMES, or you are subject to fines. I know a few dutchies (ain't the Internet marvellous?), and they ain't too pleased about that. Apparently that load of bollocks was introduced on the back of a wave of islamophobia. How many terrorists has it caught yet? What, none?

      I also have the right to leave? What's that? I also have the right to be coerced out of the country of my birth and into a foreign land where I'll be treated like Johnny Foreigner by the locals, up to and including most likely needing visas, passports and god knows what else? Assuming I even speak the local language? That's a funny definition of a "right". I'd call it bullshit, myself.

      And as for "When were these won - and by whom?" - I think you'll find the demographic split between WW2 vets who do like, and WW2 vets who don't like compulsory ID cards, is about the same as for everyone else. They are people, you know?

      As for those who don't like it doing something to improve their situation: I've donated to NO2ID. I've stood there in Manchester handing out leaflets to the MPs, trying to convince people of the bullshit wafting right under their noses. What have you done? Asides run away, that is?

    4. BorkedAgain

      Leaving is not always an option...

      ...when you have kids whose lives you'd like to stay an active part of, and whose mother isn't going anywhere.

      Still, well done you.

  64. Graham Marsden

    Please send your refund requests to...

    ... Ed Milliband, c/o Labour Party Headquarters and mention that Tony and Gordon should chip in too...

  65. Adrian Jooste

    Not all of those who signed up wanted in on this

    Don't forget any foreign national applying for any kind of visa to reside in the UK was forced into accepting the ID card as their proof of having a visa at all. No more stamps in passports.

    Some keep banging on about people wanting this and are stupid because they opted in but I would think a lot of the final number of cards issued were not wanted or asked for.

  66. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    No Refund

    Instead, bill them for the expense they have put all the rest of us to.

  67. Paul RND*1000


    Ten out of ten and a gold star to the Labour Party for establishing a tax on the gullible.

    Minus several million for spending so much money in order to collect it.

  68. Uplink

    Why not reuse the equipment?

    While reading the article and the comments, I was wondering why didn't they just use their scrapped equipment to issue card-style passports for use within the EU. Pretty much every European has an ID card they can use within the EU instead of a passport. No wonder Mr Hodder and others liked it. Choice between thick and expensive passport vs think and inexpensive ID card.

    What I have in mind is to actually give the ID card infrastructure to the Home Office and allow them to issue "light" passport cards for use within the EU (you can't use then in other places because border officials can't stamp them, and can't apply visas).

    You can have this "consulting" session on me Home Office! Now grab it before I put the price up.

    1. NFH

      Already suggested

      I suggested this to the Government at committee stage but they were too stubborn to listen. See

  69. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Both were on the BBC last week, on Rip-off Britain"

    Now there's an oxymoron.

    Now they've scrapped ID cards the next thing they can put their mind to is to scrap the TV Licence, especially given so many are not paying it.

  70. AlexH
    Thumb Down

    £20m to do a refund?!

    Here's my break-down:

    £1m on the actual refund.

    Recruit 30 people who over the course of a year have to process 1,000 refunds each, pay them loads for the simple task (20k) = £600,000

    So that leaves over £18m for management, overheads, premesis, etc.


  71. captain veg Silver badge

    I want a refund too

    If I were still a UK taxpayer, I'd demand a refund for the millions spent on Blunkett's vanity project which I never wanted and never intended to join.

    As for "the rather more cumbersome and costly UK passport", in 2001 I seem to remember paying the same 30 quid for mine as the wretched tracking tokens cost. The price only shot up *after* the NIR scheme was announced, because of the purportedly shared infrastructure cost. Can I get a partial refund on my recent renewal please?


  72. John G Imrie

    If they get the refund

    Can I have a refund on all the national lottery tickets I did not win on?

    Also has any one checked the Bill to see if the responsibility of notifying the home office with any change of details has also been repealed.

    1. mhoulden

      Pretty unambiguous

      From section 1(1): "The Identity Cards Act 2006 is repealed." Sections 25, 26 and 38 of the act remain, but the first two of these make it an offence to create false ID documents, and section 38 covers information used to verify passport applications. The requirement to provide change of details is section 10, but that has now been repealed.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      I sincerely hope not

      ISTR a Reg piece a while back, when the Coalition announced the scrapping that suggested they should keep that part of the law, to remind the thickies who rushed to sign up of the error of their ways. Something I liked idea of.

      How about a British compromise. You get the refund, but have to keep the Home Office up to date with your address for the rest of your life.

  73. Degenerate Scumbag

    There was a good reason for having one.

    All those of you laughing at the supposed stupidity of these people for opting-in to need to engage you brains a little more and consider why they may have done so. I'm afraid it is you who are the morons, because there was at least one clear and obvious reason for having one:

    You're not allowed to apply for a spare passport.

    The cards were valid for European travel and recognised as offical ID. A lot of European coutries actually have laws stating foreigners must carry their passport or ID on them at all times. This makes loss or theft of your passport a significant risk.

    Many would consider £30 well worth it to insure against the hassle of being stuck without a passport and possibly missing your flight home whilst you sort it out. Indeed, had the full roll-out proceeded I would have bought one for the £60 full price.

    1. hplasm

      So we would have to pay up-

      because you can't find your passport?

      Or your arse with both hands, it seems.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Your point would be valid ...

      if it were supported by the facts. Is my memory playing tricks, or was the Home Office forced to advise people holding ID cards they should ALSO carry their passport if they wanted to travel.

      This was after several UK airlines (and Eurostar) refused to accept the ID cards.

      1. Degenerate Scumbag

        Legally validity is what counts.

        They were legally valid as travel documents. It's not surprising that so early in the program some people rejected them due to unfamiliarity, but this would obviously have changed had the full program gone ahead. Furthermore, my point is that I would have carried both - leaving my passport safely locked in the hotel safe whilst my (cheaper) ID card would have been in my pocket satisfying my legal obligation in several European countries to carry recognised ID on my person. Therefore I would be more likely to lose the ID than the passport. What's more, even if it was the other way around and my passport was lost, the ID is more likely to be recognised in Europe for the journey home since they are more familiar with national ID cards.

  74. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No refunds

    Perhaps if they kick up enough of a stink, the next time the control freaks and wannabe Wacqui Jackboots of this world suggest barcoding and tagging all citizens we'll remember this time and hand them their arses on plates before they piss away our money again.

  75. TelePom
    Thumb Up


    The unanimous lack of sympathy here for these goons is truly heartwarming.

  76. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The sad thing is......

    We really could do with a none mandatory national identity card (and some tight laws to stop to stop places like Tescos asking for ID for the hell of it), Even sadder, we already had everything in place to produce this when the New Labour Project finally got into power: The passport! A simple, smaller, photo page only, passport (i.e. the size of a driving license) for use as an ID card and for travel in Europe would have been fine and wouldn't have added to the deficit :-(.

    So yeah, I do have sympathy with some of those people who now have useless ID cards. I doubt very much that many of them spent the money because they were paid rabid fans of the New Labour Project.

    1. M Gale

      Non-mandatory national identity card.

      Been around for years. Lots longer than Blunkett's ejaculation. Doesn't have the creepy Big Brother aspect attached either. Mostly because you don't have to have one, but also the lack of a massive national database underpinning it...

      Even more amusing is that these guys have offered 15,000 people a free Citizencard replacement for their now-defunct national identity card. After the Home Office threatened to remove CitizenCard's accreditation during the last administration, possibly to remove the argument of "we already have a national identity card that's voluntary"? Yeah, I think there's a few people in that company who are quietly grinning as they hand out the replacements.

  77. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    My fair solution.

    Refund the £30 on payment of a £50 administration fee.

  78. Anonymous Coward

    who are these people

    who think that a lifetime obligation to keep all their personal data in a central government database is more convenient than say, carrying around a small booklet when they travel.

    And carrying this momumental document is such a huge problem for them, that none of them have ever bothered asking the government to consider issuing the booklet in a smaller format? Apparently that idea just clean slipped their mind as they lugged around what can surely be described as the weight of the world on their shoulder's. Oh woe is the man who has to carry several pages worth of laminated paper with him, EVERYTIME HE GOES ABROAD. That's lke asking a man to drag a dumptruck up an icy road using his ballsack.

    Say I don't remember Moses bitching about the weight of those stone tablets. I guess back in the day men used to have some fucking class.

    1. NFH

      Passport cards

      I agree with you and I did suggest such a thing to the Government, but they didn't listen. In my memorandum to the House of Commons public bill committee at I stated "I question the Government's plans to waste the considerable amount of taxpayers' money that has already been invested in the ID card scheme. The existing infrastructure for ID cards could be reused to offer the cards as a pure passport substitute, perhaps renamed as "passport cards" in order to disassociate them from the ill-fated National Identity Register. This would have more in common with a similar optional scheme in the United States. By cancelling the scheme in the middle of suppliers' contracts, the government would forego the opportunity to recoup some of the expenditure already made by charging British citizens for a more practical optional travel document in addition to or instead of a full passport. Furthermore there would be cost savings for British consulates, because fewer passports would be lost or stolen as a result of being left in hotel rooms or carried in back pockets".

  79. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    @How will refunding £900,000 cost £20 mil

    It doesn't - 20M is the cancellation cost.

    It's redundancy payments to staff, paying off leases on offices and equipment and paying to destroy and hard drives and storage in accordance with whatever data protection policies.

    And of course a big chunk of cancellation clauses to companies that knew this was doomed when they signed up - and so put big front loaded costs into the job

  80. tony

    passport costs,

    Now the cost of passport can sink back to it's normal level now it's not subsidising the cost of the ID card.

  81. Anonymous Coward

    A fool and his money are easily parted.

    The title says it all, so STFU you whiners.

  82. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What about the government getting a refund for throwing all that money away?

    I have no sympathy for ms. epstein, who so clearly contradicted herself before and after losing the faith. If she failed to get kickbacks for her astroturfing, well, no sense demanding them now.

    Mr. Hodder sort-of has a point except that I don't think ID cards should continue to exist just because they're convenient to him. ID devices shouldn't be convenient, lest their mere existence promotes over-use and through that compound an already existing and serious privacy problem.

    That said, over in the Netherlands a judge ruled that ID cards ought to be free as he recognised that you're not carrying them for your benefit, you're carrying them for the state's convenience -- that is how reality is turning out there. I'm not quite sure how that reasoning applies to this failed experiment.

    Thirty thousand thirty pound refunds, even with administrative overhead included, aren't going to seriously compound the costs run up to the overall scheme, but as early adopters to a scheme that caused quite the tea cup-spilling storm, they could've known this might happen. Then again, being overly eager to submit to the state then makes no surprise of them being overly eager to make fools of themselves now.

  83. Richard Porter

    @Andrew Martin 1

    "The card is one thing, the ID database is another."

    Absolutely. The card was totally pointless. Without the equipment to measure one's biometrics it would be difficult to spot a forgery; with that equipment it would be possible to check someone's identity against an online database, so no need for the card at all.

  84. Anonymous Coward

    Not one tear will I shed, not one iota am I moved

    by the "plight" of the 30,000. And anyone who thinks they are hard done by should remind themselves of the full horrors of what we have been spared.

    Don't forget, if the ID card scheme had gone ahead YOU would have to pay to get your card. And if you think the £100 figured touted would have been the amount, you can guess again - it would have been whatever they could have screwed you for.

    Just ponder on what would have happened if you had your card stolen. Watch "Brazil" and imagine being a non-person, as being unable to provide the card lead to your arrest and detention.

    I'm not always right about political developments, but in my lifetime, I have been sure of 2 things (so far). The poll tax would never work. And ID cards would never work.

  85. yossarianuk

    They deserve no sympathy

    The people who signed up (their identities and soul) to the nazi style scheme deserves to lose their money.

    They have already lost their self respect and were willing to lose their freedoms to save a few quid.

    The government has the greatest sucker list ever created..

  86. This post has been deleted by its author

  87. Anonymous Coward


    I thought they had 'nothing to hide and nothing to fear'?

    In that case they wont be afraid of not getting a refund will they. Cretins.

  88. Jess

    Simple answer

    Give them a £27 credit note against their next passport.

  89. NFH

    Why I paid £30 for an ID card

    I am guessing that most of the people here objecting to ID cards and failing to understand reasons for their purchase have never lived in other European countries.

    Other European countries' laws assume that most people possess a national identity card, but British, Irish and Danish citizens have to rely on a much less convenient passport instead. Many British Citizens, while staying in other European countries, risk being fined for failing to carry a national identity card or passport at all times, for the simple reason that passports are too large to fit in a wallet or purse. In some countries such as Spain, it is impossible to use a credit or debit card in a supermarket without showing a national identity card, or failing that a passport. The many British residents in Spain therefore have to carry their passports in order to go shopping, something that is even less practical in warmer climes when one has fewer pockets. While living in other European countries, some of my compatriots' British passports ended up in a very poor state as a result of being carried in trouser pockets for months or years; the British passport was never designed for such daily use.

    I have lived and worked in France, Germany, Belgium and border regions in Switzerland, where I found the obligation to carry my passport at all times to be an impractical inconvenience. I felt disadvantaged compared to citizens of other European countries whose governments issue them with more practical travel documents, i.e. ID cards. I believe that the abolition of ID cards has been spearheaded primarily by politicians who have never lived in other European countries and suffered the consequent inconvenience of having to carry a passport every day instead of an ID card. It is no surprise that some Conservative MEPs support optional ID cards as travel documents, given that MEPs are the very few British politicians who suffer the daily inconvenience of being legally obliged to carry travel documents around with them at all times. Although there is quite rightly no obligation in the UK to carry a travel document at all times, this does not mean that the British government should ignore the fact that its own citizens are required to do so while in other European countries. The rest of Europe expects us to carry ID cards, and the British government should recognise that many of its citizens live or work in other European countries which have different laws from our own. I am nevertheless against the National Identity Register which I believe is an intrusion upon civil liberties, and I believe that ID cards should always be optional, just like passports.

    1. M Gale

      I will say again...

      Completely voluntary, Home Office-recognised. Been around for years longer than that godawful Blunkett idea, and doesn't have the mother of all databases attached to it either.

      What's more, if you've had the oh-so-awful loss of thirty quid (some of us weren't exactly relishing the prospect of complete loss of freedom arising from refusing to go along with the stupid plan in the first place), CitizenCard will ever so nicely GIVE you a free identity card. A nice PR stunt from them, and a PASS-certified identity card, just in case you forget your name and have to look at a bit of laminated plastic to remember it. Seriously, go look at the site and see for yourself. Team Reg or Jane Fae Ozimek (is that her real name?) might want to think of adding a bootnote to the article about that.

      The rest of your points have already been met and defeated by numerous other posters here. If I decide to go to somewhere in Europe, I'll take my passport with me. Oh dear, it has to fit in an inside pocket.... major inconvenience, that. Much worse than the fact I'd have to be carrying some kind of papers around with me at all times, oh yes!!!! </sarc>

      1. NFH

        Travel documents

        Again, you're one of the many people who've missed the point. I'm not talking about a short trip to another European country. I'm talking about living there every day. Have you seen what happens to a passport after being carried every day for years in trouser pockets? Such a large travel document is not designed for daily use. That's why all countries that require a travel document to be carried at all time issue ID cards to their own citizens.

        And your suggestion to get a CitizenCard instead is absurd. It will not be accepted as a travel document in any European country and it is not a naional identity card. It is not issued by the state and it does not provide evidence of nationality and consequent immigration status. You clearly know little about travel documents.

        Also, I didn't advocate a refund of the £30. I preferred the existing cards to remain valid, which would have been better all round for everyone concerned.

        1. M Gale

          Making CitizenCard a recognised travel document...

          ...requires but the stroke of a pen.

          And yes, it is an identity card. Government-produced or not, it is nationally recognised, therefore is de facto a national identity card. That's its entire purpose. It's there to prove who you are. Not to track you, not to be attached to a massive database designed to aggregate every single bit of data about you over your entire life. It's not there as a weapon of the state to enforce subservience amongst a populace that might be considering themselves to be a little "too" free. It's just there to show that the bearer is who they say they are. That's why it has been a Home Office accredited system for decades. It's also free to you, since you've evidently wasted money on New Labour's white elephant.

          And have you never heard of passport wallets? Or maybe you could lobby the government to make passports smaller. In any case, why the hell should I be forced into some money-grabbing, data-mining, authoritarian scheme run by beancounters and wannabe nazis just for YOUR convenience?

          Sure it might be nice for existing cards to remain valid, but that would require keeping a half-complete, most likely insecure system up and running for the next 9 years, and paying for it to be grandfathered in such a fashion. Perhaps you'd want to be amongst the next bunch of people to have their data leaked via a USB pen and the 17:05 from Tower Hill?

          If you really want a pint-sized passport, then that's what you should ask for. Get yourself a free CitizenCard, and then go forth and lobby for it to be recognised as a travel document within the EU. Besides, the law in the Netherlands is, I believe, for "a form of identification" to be on your person at all times. Not a passport. IANAL but CitizenCard sounds like it would suffice. You could even - I know this is pretty radical - use your driving license!

          Now me, I'll just avoid being anywhere that has such awful laws. Having to have your papers with you? Every single day? What persuaded you to take up a job that required THAT?

          1. NFH

            CitizenCard cannot be a travel document

            M Gale, the CitizenCard does not show nationality and is available to people of any nationality. It therefore will never be an EU-recognised national identity card. You think the Netherlands would allow entry to a UK-resident Somali who presents a CitizenCard at immigration controls? As I said previously, you clearly know little about travel documents.

            Your last paragraph displays an insular approach to life and the worst of British. To refuse a job in another EU country because of a requirement to carry an ID card there is rather petty. I am guessing that your aversion to travelling to other European countries has contributed to your lack of understanding of immigration controls and travel documents.

            1. Dog Faced Boy

              Its about Privacy rights, not travel convenience

              So, basically NFH, people should give up their right to privacy from the state so you can live and move around in another country more conveniently.?

    2. Anonymous Coward

      ... keep digging ...

      continued mention of how "other European countries" *require* carrying an ID card tends to bring to mind 1930s Germany.

      There, Godwin invoked. Nothing to see. Move on.

      (Maybe we need a swastika icon for such cases. Although it would have to be hidden on

      1. NFH

        Other countries' requirements

        Anonymous Coward, I'm not saying that I agree with other countries' requirements to carry ID cards at all times, because I don't, and I agree with you on this point. Likewise, I disagree with the National Identity Register. I'm saying that the United Kingdom should issue travel documents that are sufficiently small and durable to be carried at all times by British Citizens living in the affected countries. The British passport is too large and not sufficiently durable to be carried at all times. The only reason that lots of ex-pat British Citizens have not joined in the argument since May is that the UK ID card was never opened up to British Citizens living outside the UK.

    3. Anonymous Coward

      Carrying the Spanish NIC is compulsory everytime, everywhere

      “In some countries such as Spain, it is impossible to use a credit or debit card in a supermarket without showing a national identity card, or failing that a passport.”

      In Spain you must carry your national ID card or passport wherever you go or you could be arrested. This is just one of the too many leftovers from Franco's dictatoship. Here no one questions this because they're all too familiar with it. Don't let your government force carrying a NIC, if passed it won't be rolled back.

      1. NFH

        Look at what Gibraltar does

        This is why the Government of Gibraltar issues United Kingdom national ID cards to British citizens in Gibraltar. They recognise that a British passport is not sufficiently small or durable to carry at all times when those British citzens cross the border into Spain. The Government of the United Kingdom should do the same for British citizens resident in Spain (and in other affected EEA countries) and issue those British citizens with optional national ID cards.

  90. Roger Mew

    ID cards

    Correct me if I am wrong, I do believe they are still valid for border crossings in the EU. The UK govt have already stated that they only need proof of identity for border crossing, therefore theoretically they are still valid for that, further so is a driving licence issued in the UE if the govt statement is correct.

    MMmm have to ask my MP that one, I know that in France now the driving licence is acceptable for ID as it is in the UK so, does that mean that the implication being that they ARE acceptable for going cross channel?

    1. NFH

      Cancellation plan

      From midnight on 21st January 2010, British ID cards (except those issued by Gibraltar) will cease to be valid as travel documents within the EEA. The British government are informing immigration authorities throughout the EEA and Switzerland of this. UK Border Agency officials will be allowed to exercise discretion after this date and allow entry, but this is likely to be relevant only for travel through the Channel Tunnel, given that all other routes into the Common Travel Area require checks of a travel document by a commercial carrier who may not necessarily exercise the same discretion.

      A driving licence is indeed acceptable proof of identity within France, but it is not a valid travel document for entry into the Schengen area (of which France is a part). A travel document has to show nationality.

  91. druck Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    What about passports

    Screw the 30,000 muppets who volunteered to be first throw money away on Labour's ID scheme, caveat emptor!

    What about the rest of us which need to have passports for travel and have seen the costs quadruple since 1997, much of the increase being a stealth subsidy so ID cards could be offered at £30.

  92. Anonymous Coward

    Compulsory ID

    Good for you, brits, that your government won't force to pay for a compulsory ID card every 5 or 10 years, now bundled with a non-refutable digital certificate as legally binding as a hand-made signature.

    Bad for me, however, as I'm a spaniard.

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