Direct Provision allowance increase ‘a good start’, says Nasc CEO Fiona Finn

Wed, June 14, 2017

Nasc welcomes the announcement from Taoiseach-elect Leo Varadkar that he will be increasing the Direct Provision Allowance for adults and children.

This is the first such increase for adults since the Direct Provision system was established in 2000. The children’s allowance was increased by €6 in January 2016.

Mr. Varadkar announced late on Wednesday that as one of his first actions as Taoiseach, he will be seeking Cabinet approval for an increase in the Direct Provision Allowance from €15.60 to €21.60 per week for children and from €19.10 to €21.60 per week for adults.

“While we warmly welcome that this increase was one of the first announcements made by the incoming Taoiseach, we are admittedly disappointed that the increases are not in line with the recommendation made by the Working Group on the Protection Process and Direct Provision in the McMahon Report,” comments Nasc CEO Fiona Finn.

The McMahon Report, published in 2015, recommended an increase to €38.74 for adults and €29.80 for children. This increase would have brought the Direct Provision Allowance back in line with the increases that have been made to the Supplementary Welfare Allowance payment since 2000, against which the Direct Provision Allowance had been set when it was first established.

“Of course any increase in the amount of money residents of direct provision receive is welcome, as currently adults and children living in direct provision live in a kind of ‘enforced poverty’. This is exacerbated by the lack of a right to work, which was found to be unconstitutional in a recent Supreme Court decision”, states Ms. Finn.

“But it is only the beginning of a much needed overhaul of Ireland’s reception system for asylum seekers.”

“This is certainly a good start for the new Taoiseach, and we are very hopeful that this signals a new beginning in the treatment of asylum seekers in Ireland, in ensuring that their dignity and human rights are respected and vindicated,” finishes Ms. Finn.

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