Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Cameron attacks Blair on ID cards

Tory leader, David Cameron, made ID cards the focus of PM questions today.

"Tory leader David Cameron asked if spending £600m a year on ID cards was a good idea at a time when the money could be spent on the NHS instead. Mr Blair said it would make a "major difference" on crime.

Mr Cameron said the cards would not come in until 2013 and the money could be used on security and police. Mr Blair asked the Tories to "work with us" to introduce the cards more quickly. He asked Mr Cameron to "think again" about cards and said that "They may be the future, not the past".

Mr Cameron asked the prime minister whether Gordon Brown backed the ID cards scheme. Mr Blair said the government was committed to them. He said identity fraud was on the increase and said "we need identity cards", using biometric technology. The largest part of costs would come through biometric passports which are being brought in anyway.

Mr Cameron said prime minister's questions was about him asking questions on "behalf of the public" with the PM answering them on behalf of the government, rather than asking about Tory policies. He added that ID cards would become a "monument to the death of big government".

Mr Blair said Mr Cameron's policies changed daily and ID fraud was a "major and growing problem". Mr Blair predicted the Tory leader was "standing on his head" on many issues, and would have to change his policy on ID cards at the next election."

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