Identity Cards to be Introduced by 2018

Sanctus РSecretary for Homeland Security Kate Cruz today confirmed in a long-postponed press conference that the Sanctarian Conservative Party would be pushing ahead with introducing national identification cards for all citizens before the next general election Рa move which party insiders has suggested is a direct challenge to Prime Minister Mark Kindle, already under fire to resign because of poor polling, who is thought to be opposed to the measure.

The National ID Card Scheme has been brought up by every SCP government since 2000 but due to significant backlash from both the public and opposition parties, as well as opposition from individual members with the SCP, the measure has never been brought to the house. The debate has ramped up in recent months with Secretary Cruz’s crackdown on illegal immigration, stricter border controls, and requests for increased surveillance to combat in an over-arching effort to stem any possible terrorist cells. Sources within the SCP have confirmed that they have the numbers in the House of Deputies to pass such a measure – and they believe they can get the numbers in the Senate too, with recent comments from Sen. June Warren (Ind-Haven) suggesting that some independent, and even Christian Union Party members, would be willing to support the motion with amendments.

Prime Minister Kindle has been reluctant to tackle this divisive problem in the lead-up to the general election, particularly with the party so far down in the polls. However Secretary Cruz today admitted that it was because of the recent polling that the SCP was going forward with it’s plan saying “it is vitally important the NIDCS is implemented before the next general election; elections cause instability, particularly if there happens to be a change in government. Instability is a breeding ground for terrorism”.

When questioned on whether or not the PM had signed off on her announcement today, Cruz declared that “the government acts as a collective. The Cabinet has agreed we are moving forward with this legislation”. Sources in the Secretary’s private office have confirmed, on the condition of anonymity as they do not have the authority to divulge such information, that Kindle has effectively been sidelined in the Cabinet, with the other government members voting him down on a number of occasions – “they all know his days are numbered. It’s just a question of how much they can get passed and implemented before a DLP government”.

As for the DLP, their press officer today condemned the legislation as “big brother infringing on civil liberties” but would not confirm that, if elected, they would scrap the scheme. Privately most politicians believe the move to be a prudent move, but will not admit so publicly because of the implications with the public – it is believed the DLP will use the NIDCS to attack the SCP during the spring election but, ultimately, will not move to abolish it if elected to office.

BRIAN DeNOBLE, Defence & Security Correspondent

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