CBI calls for clearer explanation of ID card proposals

The CBI has written to home secretary Charles Clarke calling for greater openness about the government’s proposals for national ID cards.

The government plans to push legislation for the £3.1bn programme – a key plank of Labour’s manifesto – rapidly through Parliament.

The Home Office claims the scheme will combat identity theft, terrorism, illegal working and illegal immigration.

But in a letter to the home secretary, CBI director general Sir Digby Jones warned that the government needed to be clearer about the objectives of the Bill.

“If business support is to be maximised, the Bill must offer greater clarity and transparency,” he wrote. “Without this, it is likely to fail in its objective of making the UK a more secure place to live, work and do business.”

Despite its reservations about the scheme, the employers group believes that the introduction of ID cards could reduce identity theft, and will allow businesses and government to supply services more efficiently.

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