12 November 2007
Edinburgh Lib Dems pledge – ‘Police not Plastic’
Edinburgh West Lib Dems John Barrett MP and Margaret Smith MSP have teamed up to oppose Labour’s compulsory identity cards scheme and have called for more money for front-line policing.
The Edinburgh parliamentarians denounced plans for identity cards and biometric passports as "a vast waste of taxpayers' money" after new Government estimates put the cost of the scheme at more than £5.6 billion, a bill which Ministers admit could rise further.
This follows SNP backtracking in Holyrood over a pre-election pledge for 1,000 extra police in Scotland.
John Barrett MP said:
“While Labour waste billions on ID cards at Westminster they are ignoring the priorities of Edinburgh residents who have real concerns about crime, vandalism and anti-social behaviour.
"It is becoming more and more clear that Identity Cards are simply going to be a vast waste of taxpayers’ money.
“Local people I speak to are clear – they would rather see another police officer on our streets than another piece of plastic in their pocket.
Lib Dem Justice Spokesperson Margaret Smith MSP added:
“Crime and antisocial behaviour in our area are a real concern for local communities. We need a strong, properly resourced local police force.
“That’s why I've already written to Justice Minister Kenny MacAskill making the case for more police in Lothian and Borders in recognition of Edinburgh’s capital city status and that’s why it is unacceptable that the SNP are now backtracking over their promise of 1000 extra police.”
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