Retailers have welcomed plans for a national ID card revealed by Home Secretary David Blunkett.

The Association of Convenience Stores chief executive David Rae said: “The card will be a credible form of proof-of-age for retailers, but 2013 is a long time to wait for it to be universally held.”

He said retailers should follow a ‘no proof, no sale’ policy, rather than waiting until 2013, by which time the card could become compulsory. Many retailers refuse to sell age-restricted products to customers who look under the age of 21.

And Leathley’s Quality Fare commercial director Philip Horsfield said an ID card would allow retailers to enforce the law on age-restricted sales. “These sales are a problem. Fourteen-year-olds often look 18 and a national identity card would make it much easier for staff to inquire about the age of a customer.”