§ Beverley Hughes
The Home Office has lead responsibility for developing the national identity cards scheme, which my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary announced on 11 November. A national identity cards scheme will bring significant benefits in areas that are the responsibility of the Home Office. These include strengthening immigration controls, providing a means to encourage legal routes of migration to the United Kingdom, combating organised crime and terrorism and reducing identity fraud. The national identity cards scheme will be built incrementally by strengthening existing forms of identification, some of which are currently issued by the Home Office or one of its agencies such as residence permits and passports.