The Portman Group would be prepared to scrap its proof of age card scheme if the government puts its weight behind an ID initiative. The Home Office is considering the option ahead of any legislation arising from the White Paper on licensing reform. It is looking at three possibilities ­ a card under its central control, backing one of the schemes in operation, or linking up with the Department for Education and Employment's Connexions card. The watchdog body's director Jean Coussins said the group would be prepared to support Connexions, a smartcard issued to 16 year olds as an aid to life long learning. Coussins said for this to work it would require design changes including the incorporation of a date of birth and a photograph. She said this would have to be done now ahead of a national launch in the autumn of next year. Portman has spent £3m supporting its own card in the last 10 years and it recently introduced a £5 charge for the issuing of each card. But Coussins said: "It is not for us to contribute to the cost of the Connexions card. "It would be legitimate for the retail sector to see if it should have a role in the funding." {{NEWS }}