Direct Provision allowance increase does not go far enough, say the Irish Refugee Council

Posted On: June 14, 2017

MEDIA STATEMENT, 14 June 2017

In response to the reported increase in the Direct Provision allowance, Nick Henderson, CEO of the Irish Refugee Council stated:

“Any increase in the Direct Provision allowance, however modest, is welcomed. Yet, this increase, the first ever for adults, and the second for children since 2000 is still hugely insufficient and is also below the modest recommendations of the ‘McMahon Working Group’, now over two years old, of €38.74 for adults and €29.80 for children.”

“The allowance should be subject to a comprehensive review on an annual basis linked to inflation and Consumer Price Index changes. As a first step, residents of Direct Provision, the most important stakeholders in this process, should be consulted on their needs and the difficulties they have in living on the allowance. From our experience of working with people in the asylum process, an increase of €2.50 for adults and €6.00 for children is unlikely to sufficiently impact on their basic, fundamental needs.  For example, it might cover a bus trip across town at best.”

“Ultimately the allowance should be something that the Irish State and its people are proud to provide to people seeking refuge and reflect what is necessary for a dignified life. Unfortunately, the increased allowance does not meet this test.”

“The prompt introduction of the right to work is also essential in offsetting the type of dependency that has been created by our current asylum system. As the recent Supreme Court decision recognised, it is a constitutional right necessary for the dignity and freedom of the individual and essential for the development of us as humans.”

ENDS

 Contact:

Caroline Reid, Communications Officer, 0858585510