Many people who are refused sanctuary in the UK but are unable to return to their countries, are forced to rely on the Azure payment card. A report from Refugee Action has highlighted many problems with the card. Church Action on Poverty are encouraging thousands of people to email the Immigration Minister Damian Green now, and ask for the card to be replaced with cash.
In the wake of the economic crisis, we've all been encouraged to be more realistic about debt. It's a message that will be of little use to those who are forced into the hands of loan sharks by desperation, poverty and the refusal of banks to give them credit. And for all the government's words about financial responsibility, they're letting the loan sharks get away with it.