ATHERTON-based Bolton West MP Julie Hilling has urged government ministers to rethink their decision not to issue refunds to residents who are unable to use their identity cards.

Several constituents have contacted Ms Hilling as they have received confirmation from the Home Office that, as the scheme is being scrapped, their ID cards will not be accepted for travel. Residents have also been told that they will not receive a refund for the £30 fee which they paid for the cards.

Thousands of identity cards have already been issued across Greater Manchester, the first region to introduce the scheme. Many residents had bought the identity cards as a replacement passport for travel throughout the European Union.

Julie Hilling explained: “I believe that it is unfair that a refund will not be offered to local residents who have already purchased identity cards and have acted in good faith.

“Many of the constituents who have raised this issue with me are on fixed incomes and cannot afford to be out of pocket by this action. It is important that the government is aware of the depth of feeling by those affected and I have urged ministers to reconsider their decision."