Is there any point in having ID cards that are not compulsay? LONDON (Reuters) - The government is set to introduce national identity cards to combat fraud and terrorism from 2008 after the House of Lords agreed a compromise deal with the Labour party on Wednesday. The planned biometric cards, which will carry fingerprint, iris and face recognition technology, are the world's most ambitious, say experts, and could be used as a model for other countries, including ADVERTISEMENT the United States. Critics say they are unworkable and costly and argue they infringe civil liberties. The compromise, over the degree of compulsion, will be a relief to Prime Minister Tony Blair, who has been dogged by sleaze allegations and questions over his future in the last few weeks. His authority has been waning since he said he would not seek a fourth term at the next election, due by mid-2010. The House of Lords had repeatedly rejected the government's ID card plans but has now accepted a compromise under which people applying for a new passport will have an opt-out until 2010 although their details will be put on an ID card database. "I am delighted that we have been able to give our backing to (this) amendment," said junior interior minister Andy Burnham. He said it ensured that everyone who applied for a passport would have their biometric information placed on the register while it also alleviated the concerns of those who had argued the cards should not yet be compulsory. Labour has long had plans to introduce ID cards, which it says will help tackle identity theft, abuse of the state benefits system, illegal immigration, organised crime and terrorism, although the measure has hit fierce opposition. In its policy blueprint for last year's election Labour said it was committed to introducing identity cards, initially on a voluntary basis. Since then it sought to link the scheme to passport applications. It will be the first time Britons have carried ID cards since they were abolished after World War Two. ID cards are used in about a dozen European Union countries but are not always compulsory and do not carry as much data. The House of Commons, is expected to formally approve the House of Lords decision later on Wednesday.