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Identity Cards

Volume 457: debated on Tuesday 6 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what discussions he has had with the Home Office in relation to the operation of the national identity card scheme in Northern Ireland; and what estimate he has made of the resources needed to operate the scheme in Northern Ireland. (123505)

I have not made any assessment of the likely cost of implementing the scheme in Northern Ireland because the cost of issuing ID cards along with passports is, as an excepted matter, a matter for my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary. The Northern Ireland Office and the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister are represented at official level on interdepartmental groups convened by the Home Office to look at identity issues and, in particular, the role of ID cards. The decision about whether, and if so how, ID cards are to be used in the provisions of services in Northern Ireland will be a matter for a future Northern Ireland Executive following restoration.