London: Britain will scrap the proposed
multi-billion dollar identity-card programme within 100 days,
the government announced on Thursday.
The National Identity Register, the database which
contains the biographic and biometric fingerprint data of card
holders, would also be destroyed by the first piece of
legislation introduced to Parliament by the coalition
"This bill is a first step of many that this
government is taking to reduce the control of the state over
decent, law-abiding people and hand power back to them," Home
Secretary Theresa May said.
"With swift Parliamentary approval, we aim to consign
identity cards and the intrusive ID card scheme to history
within 100 days," she said.
The scheme estimated to cost almost 5 billion pounds
over the next decade, which was brought in by the previous
Labour administration. It had argued the cards were vital in
the fight against crime and terrorism.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: "The wasteful,
bureaucratic and intrusive ID card scheme represents
everything that has been wrong with government in recent
"By taking swift action to scrap it, we are making it
clear that this government won`t sacrifice people`s liberty
for the sake of Ministers` pet projects.
"Cancelling the scheme and abolishing the National
identity Register is a major step in dismantling the
surveillance state - but ID cards are just the tip of the
Today marks the start of a series of radical reforms
to restore hard-won British freedoms.