Taking food from the mouths of the hungry

The Azure payment card was introduced in November 2009 when once again the voucher system was deemed not fit for purpose.

People on Section 4 support have no access to cash and they are not allowed to work. Accommodation is provided and they receive £35.39 a week via a prepayment Azure card. The card can be used to buy food, essential toiletries, clothing and credit for mobile phones.

cash or card          azure card

Single people with no dependents are not allowed to carry over more than £5 at the end of each week, and any excess money is removed from the card. Because of the unjust carryover limit, from November 2009 to December 2010, the estimated amount of unspent credit recovered from the Azure card during the first year of its operation was £650,000. The total value for 2011 to 2013, is around £100,000 every year.

That is money which is unclaimed and unused. It is just like taking food from the mouths of the hungry.

The House of Lords debated the Azure card on 20 November 2014 and the debate can be read here: Azure Card

Lord Roger Roberts writes … We must abolish the Azure card now:

http://www.libdemvoice.org/we-must-abolish-the-azure-card-now-43412.html

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One thought on “Taking food from the mouths of the hungry

  1. Deep within the debate, in the fifth para of Baroness Williams’s contribution, she states:

    “As one practical example of this co-operation, we will shortly be bringing in changes to allow card users to carry over extra credit on the card from one week to the next. This suggestion was made by the Red Cross in a recent report and by many noble Lords in the Chamber today and I am pleased to be able to make this announcement. Currently, credit is limited to £5 unless the person has children. The change is designed to enable people to plan how they spend their allowance more effectively.”

    Must keep our eyes peeled for this. If that is the case, it’s a great example of what can be achieved through lobbying thoughtful parliamentarians.

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