Asylum seekers in Sussex are subject to racist remarks when they exchange vouchers at supermarkets, a council report has revealed.

Brighton and Hove Council was asked by the Government what it thought of the voucher system which is under review.

The report said asylum seekers regularly approached the authority complaining about racist attitudes.

They do not like being identified as asylum seekers at checkouts and said they were insulted if they bought goods other shoppers perceived as luxuries.

The vouchers cannot be used to buy second-hand clothes and other goods which may be needed.

The council is supporting 187 adults, 25 families and 24 unaccompanied children.

Improvements suggested included issuing lower denomination vouchers and increasing the number of goods which can be bought.

But the report said these changes would not eliminate racism and social exclusion.

It added: "The Government should consider its replacement with an alternative system of benefit support to meet the essential living needs of asylum seekers.

"There are clear examples that the voucher system causes humiliation and is stigmatising."

In October the council passed a resolution expressing serious concern about the system.

Green councillor Keith Taylor said: "I feel it should be scrapped. Our council officers have effectively highlighted the effects of this damaging and divisive scheme and there can be absolutely no justification for it to continue."