Save The Photographers!

October 10, 2012 5:06 PM

For all the Government’s attempts to present itself as a champion of small business, one industry in particular is being undermined by what is essentially an arm of the state.

The previous government’s decision to award the Post Office ‑ owned and heavily subsidised by the government - an exclusive contract to provide photographic ID for driving licences amounts to little more than a taxpayer funded hijacking of private business. Even more worryingly, the Identity and Passport Service is trying to steer applicants through the Post Office’s process as well.

ID photos represent a £50 million-a-year industry which specialist photographic shops rely on for 30% of their turnover. Thousands of jobs (mostly in small businesses) are under threat from this government monopolisation.

Save the Photographers is campaigning on behalf of retailers against this ill-conceived removal of consumer choice. They rightly point out that the Government can deliver its digitalisation agenda without damaging this industry by allowing the Post Office to scan printed photos – it really is that simple. A similar campaign in France managed to do just this and it is very much in the interests of consumers and taxpayers that the same should happen here in the UK.For all the Government’s attempts to present itself as a champion of small business, one industry in particular is being undermined by what is essentially an arm of the state.

The previous government’s decision to award the Post Office ‑ owned and heavily subsidised by the government - an exclusive contract to provide photographic ID for driving licences amounts to little more than a taxpayer funded hijacking of private business. Even more worryingly, the Identity and Passport Service is trying to steer applicants through the Post Office’s process as well.

ID photos represent a £50 million-a-year industry which specialist photographic shops rely on for 30% of their turnover. Thousands of jobs (mostly in small businesses) are under threat from this government monopolisation.

Save the Photographers is campaigning on behalf of retailers against this ill-conceived removal of consumer choice. They rightly point out that the Government can deliver its digitalisation agenda without damaging this industry by allowing the Post Office to scan printed photos – it really is that simple. A similar campaign in France managed to do just this and it is very much in the interests of consumers and taxpayers that the same should happen here in the UK.

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