Home secretary Jacqui Smith unveiled the first UK identity card on Thursday, reopening the debate about their necessity.
Many campaigners are vehemently opposed to the government's ID card plans, which will begin when the government rolls out its biometric residence permits for foreign nationals in November.
The first ID cards for British citizens are expected to be introduced in 2009 while from 2010 they will be available on a voluntary basis.
Those against them argue they undermine civil liberties by providing the government with unnecessary information. Ms Smith insists they are necessary as a means of allowing legitimate foreign nationals to claim public services.
But cost is also an issue, as their development has already produced a bill of over £100 million.
How much would it cost to put more cops on the street?