Asylum: Finance

Home Office written question – answered on 5th February 2015.

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Photo of Lord Roberts of Llandudno Lord Roberts of Llandudno Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the remarks by Baroness Williams of Trafford on 20 November 2014 (HL Deb, cols 545–610), how many retailers they have (1) approached, and (2) added to the Azure Card scheme.

Photo of Lord Roberts of Llandudno Lord Roberts of Llandudno Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their target for the number of retailers to be added to the Azure Card scheme this year.

Photo of Lord Bates Lord Bates The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

Information and guidance about travel assistance is published on the GOV.UK website and is widely known by the voluntary sector organisations that assist Azure card users, including Migrant Help, which is funded by the Home Office to provide an advice service. However, a mailshot planned for February will provide information direct to all card users.

The Azure Card is accepted by over 8,000 retail outlets. These include the following retailers: Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s, Morrison’s, the Co-operative, Boots, Iceland, Mothercare, The British Red Cross, The Salvation Army and a few small independent retailers.

Since the card was introduced in 2009 the majority of the main UK retailers have been approached and have either agreed to join the scheme or have declined to do so. However, there are ongoing discussions with some retailers who may still be interested in joining the scheme.

There is no numerical target on the number of retailers that might be added to the scheme.

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