The Scotsman carries a worrying (but not unexpected) article that was first published in 2005 but which has received strangely little follow-up from the media. Working for the Royal Bank of Scotland, HBOS, Tesco, British Airways, BP, Lloyds TSB and Shell could become impossible without an ID card. The onus is now on a job applicant to provide an ID card (costing upwards of Â£100), to prove their entitlement to work.
This invidious move will keep many in the poverty trap. The up-front costs of applying for work such as travel to and from the interview, work clothes and the first months' travel and living expenses can make it difficult to reenter employment for the homeless or extremely poor. Charities provide some crisis funds to help people into work, but the cost of an ID card and travel to the interrogation centre will only add to the burden. On top of which (as I've stressed many times) it is those at the lowest end of the socioeconomic spectrum that are likely to have most difficulty obtaining ID cards as they are statistically more likely to have had frequent house moves and job changes. This ID cards scheme, as well as its other flaws, will be more regressive than any tax.