THOUSANDS of asylum seekers are still being left without money for food nearly two weeks after a failed Home Office roll out of new pre-paid cash cards.

The Glasgow Times told on May 27 how individuals and families with children were struggling to buy food after the Westminster department switched contracts for the Aspen cards.

Charity Positive Action in Housing stepped in to fill the breach with emergency payout and its director, Robina Qureshi, warned of a "tsunami of suffering" about to hit the city.

Thousands of more people in the asylum system are affected across the UK with no clear signal from the Home Office of when the issue will be resolved.

Robina said: "This is like a another Windrush.

"The Windrush scandal showed how incompetent the Home Office is and now this crisis is showing it again.

"We are still waiting for an apology from the Home Secretary but Priti Patel has remained silent throughout - she has not said a thing."

New cards were supposed to start on May 24 but the following day charities began receiving calls from people who had not received a new card or whose card simply did not work.

People were being left humiliated at supermarket checkouts as their cards, which had been supplied by Sodexo but now come from PrePaid Financial Services, were declined.

For those who struggle with English, it was especially difficult to work out what was wrong with the cards and seek help.

Asylum seekers are not allowed to work or generate savings so people were left destitute by the serious error.

In Glasgow, which has the largest proportion of asylum seekers of any UK city, thousands were affected.

Demonstrators join a Refugees Lives Matter protest on July 1, 2020 Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Demonstrators join a Refugees Lives Matter protest on July 1, 2020 Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Asylum seekers are supposed to call Migrant Help, a Home Office contracted helpline but Robina said people were unable to get through or were kept waiting for hours.

By the end of last week, Positive Action in Housing had taken more than 500 calls and messages from people struggling.

The charity handed out more than 100 food parcels while the Sikh Temple and the Sunday foodbank at Glasgow Central Mosque also provided support.

The Home Office should have sent out 6000 replacement Aspen cards by June 1 to resolve the problem but Robina said the problem only became worse.

Some people have not received the replacement cards - others have received cards that still do not work.

In response to an enquiry from the Glasgow Times, the Home Office re-issued a standard statement.

A spokesman said: “A new service to provide asylum seekers with financial support went live last Monday and we have worked closely to develop customer services processes and plan for a number of eventualities.

“We provided clear advice to asylum seekers that they must activate their new cards prior to the service going live and the vast majority of individuals did so in advance, or have done so since.

“Migrant Help remain available to respond to queries from asylum seekers and anyone experiencing issues can contact the 24/7 hotline.”