The metropolitan county of Greater Manchester is all set to get the new sophisticated ID cards developed by the Home Office. People of the county will be able to apply and buy the cards by the end of this month for just ₤30.
The biometric cards have been made available to the general public for the first time as such ID cards were handed out only to foreign nationals. The government plans a nationwide launch of the ID cards in 2012 and is of the opinion that everyone will have one in a decade’s time.
The Home Office has reportedly spent £216million (₤230,000 everyday) since April 2006 on the development of the ID cards and biometric passports and ₤42 million has been spent since September 2009.
The Liberal Democrats, however, have not taken this revelation lightly and have lashed out at the government for spending such an exuberant amounts when public finances are under strain. Damian Green, the Shadow Immigration Minister advised the people of Manchester against spending ₤30 pounds on the card as a Conservative government was likely to scrap the scheme.
Despite the criticism, the government maintains that the ID card is of vital importance as it protects the wielder from identity frauds and serves as a passport