Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Cause and Effect?

Yesterday the government announced that "A passport will cost £66 from October, an increase of £15, or 29 per cent." The price rise apparently covers "the inclusion of a digital photograph in a microchip in the document, as well as enhanced background checks on those seeking passports and new face-to-face interviews for first-time applicants, which will come into force early next year."

It is the second sharp increase in the cost of a passport in twelve months, neither of which came as a result of any public consultation and neither of which have any compelling cause beyond covering the costs of a system that will include ID cards.

Is it perhaps more likely that these two increases - an unprecendented rate of increase - are a tactic on the government's part to soften up the public to shell out £93 (or more) on a combined passport/ID card package? Or is it just coincidence that "A new ICM poll commissioned by the No2ID campaign is the first to show a majority of people opposed to the introduction of ID cards," instead of the public seeing all this for what it really is - the same underhanded backdoor tactics that the government has used on this issue all along?

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