The news that the introduction of identity cards has moved a step closer has been largely welcomed by retailers.

Last week the government finally pushed the ID Cards Bill through the Commons, despite a backbench rebellion over the cost of the scheme reducing its majority to 31.

However, a concession made to remove parts of the Bill that would make the proposed cards compulsory has led to concern among some c-store retailers that the scheme may now not carry as much weight.

David Mortimer runs the Bracken Bank Store in Keighley, West Yorkshire. He said: “I’m right behind the introduction of ID cards. However, they should be compulsory as then there is no excuse for someone not being able prove their age.”

Spar retailer Dilip Patel from Croydon, Surrey, added: “There definitely should be some kind of ID card system but it has to be compulsory.”