Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith proposed that a “smartcard” scheme would see benefit payments loaded onto prepaid cash cards, and that transactions would be automatically stopped if people tried to buy anything on them but essentials. Again, writes kittysjones.

You can read her article about the subject on her blog but it is worth quoting Beastrabban\’s response to it:

Something like this has been mooted for a very long time. Back in the 1990s various countries experimented with the ‘electronic bourse’, a smart card which would allow people to pay without cash. The result was disastrous. The French eventually abandoned it, and the combined biometric ID card, hyped by the Indonesian government as ‘unbreakable’ was also, er, broken. Within three weeks of launch, counterfeit cards were being produced on the Indonesian black market.

You can be sure that Iain Duncan Smith knows this but he won’t care – the only people to suffer from such card-related crime will be the poor.

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