Ruffley warns 'local residents could face £2,500 fines under ID Card plans

Tuesday, 31 January, 2006

David Ruffley MP this week voiced his concern at reports that local residents in Bury St Edmunds and Stowmarket could face four-figure fines for not registering or keeping their details up to date with the proposed new ID Card Agency. It has been revealed that St Edmundsbury and Mid Suffolk Councils may be asked to police the administration of Labour's controversial new ID Card Database, and may charge a fee for anyone wanting to change their address. The Government has said that the ID cards are expected to become compulsory.

David said:

'I believe residents across Bury St Edmunds and Stowmarket will be greatly concerned at the prospect of town hall bureaucrats being told to investigate people's homes for compulsory ID Cards, backed up with the threat of thousand pound fines. This risks criminalising law-abiding citizens, rather than clamping down on the small minority of law-breakers who blight our communities.

'Under the ID Card scheme, residents may be forced to pay fees to register a new address, and there will be fines of between £1,000 and £2,500 for not registering or failing to keep details up to date.

'The small print of an obscure Government document on a new centralised, electronic electoral register, has revealed that the new register will be connected to the ID Cards Database, and council officials will be required to 'investigate' any discrepancies. This could mean that councils end up acting as the local 'police' for the ID Card Agency, and track down those who fail to inform the State of their new address or new family circumstances.'