Our budget submission called for an increase of the Daily Expenses Allowance (the weekly payment given to people seeking protection) by €20.00 or by the same amount other payments are increased in budget 2023. The organisation also called for the rollout of Child Benefit (or the International Protection Child Payment proposed in the White Paper) for all children in the protection process to make universal child benefit truly universal. The submission also calls for resourcing of legal aid to protection applicants, local communities to support refugees from Ukraine and investment in accommodation for protection applicants.

 The Budget Submission is available here.

IRC Chief Executive Officer Nick Henderson said,

“As standards in Direct Provision plummet and the cost of living crisis grows, people in the protection process and Direct Provision are particularly vulnerable. Our budget submission gives practical suggestions to achieve some fairness and equity in government policies toward people seeking protection. Child Benefit is described by the Department of Social Welfare as a “universal benefit,” yet it is not universally paid. Today we call on the Government to ensure that this benefit becomes truly universal, by reaching those children living in direct provision. The Government White Paper on ending Direct Provision commits to an ‘International Protection Child Payment’ which would be aligned with child benefit. We have seen this year how Government can streamline services and extend a humanitarian response to those fleeing war in Ukraine, including the payment of child benefit to all minor Ukrainian beneficiaries of Temporary Protection. By contrast, children in direct provision are not afforded the same treatment, and we are calling on Government to take measures to address this.”


Henderson added, “In addition, we are urging the Government to include an increase of the Daily Expenses Allowance by €20.00 (or by the same amount other payments are increased) in Budget 2023. The Direct Provision Daily Expenses Allowance (DEA) has been increased twice during the history of Direct Provision. It is our submission that this allowance is insufficient for people's needs while living in Direct Provision. It is completely inappropriate to increase welfare payments across the board as a cost-of-living measure, while ignoring this particularly marginalised group, who rely on the DEA to purchase necessities like sanitary products and transport costs, often from very rural locations. In addition, we recommend that there be an audit of the Daily Expenses Allowance benchmarking against the minimum essential acceptable standard of living. We believe that our recommendations are fair, practical, and can be delivered in Budget 2023.”