Members of the public will be expected to have their fingerprints taken at the Post Office or in high street shops and pharmacies when they sign up for a controversial ID card or passport.
Home Secretary Jacqui Smith will today announce she wants retailers to record an applicant’s most sensitive biometric details, before passing them on to the Government.
She says it will offer a ‘local, convenient recording service’ which will help keep the ID cards project costs under control.
However, papers to be released by the Home Office today will reveal the bill for issuing ID cards and passports over the next ten years is now £4.945billion for UK citizens and £379million for foreign nationals.
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As recently as last October, the bill was £4.785billion for UK citizens and £326million for foreign nationals – £213million less.
Talks over the awarding of a series of lucrative contracts to take fingerprints and facial scans are already under way with the Post Office and the National Pharmacy Association – whose members include Boots.