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Irish Government Extends Mercy: Refugees Granted Jobseeker’s Allowance of €232 Weekly Plus Accommodation

Dublin: The Irish government is contemplating extending social welfare payments to all Ukrainian refugees arriving in Ireland, irrespective of their arrival date. Each adult refugee who arrived within the last two months would receive €38.80, with children receiving €29.80. Previously, Ukrainian nationals arriving before March were eligible for Jobseeker’s Allowance of €232 per week and indefinite state accommodation. However, as the majority of refugees arrived before March, the government aims to extend social welfare support to all. Prime Minister Simon Harris, Integration Minister Roderic O’Gorman, Social Security Minister Heather Humphreys, and Justice Minister Helen McEntee have jointly formulated a payment proposal for Ukrainian refugees, submitted to the Cabinet for consideration.

This initiative arises amid ongoing debates surrounding refugee flows and deficiencies within Ireland’s refugee system. Recent controversies, such as the establishment of refugee tents along the Grand Canal in Dublin and challenges in finding adequate accommodation, have garnered significant attention.

Additionally, the government is exploring the possibility of reviewing rights for international protection applicants, with a report expected within six weeks. Currently, adults in the direct provision system receive €38.80 weekly, with children receiving €29.80.

Prime Minister Harris advocates for a sustainable approach to refugee benefits, prompting coalition leaders to agree on reducing social welfare payments and implementing a 90-day state accommodation limit for new Ukrainian refugees. Efforts to expedite application processing at the International Protection Office, including the hiring of additional staff, are underway. Plans also include providing fully equipped accommodation on government-owned land.

In response to the conflict in Ukraine, the European Union has issued a temporary directive to provide aid to those fleeing the war, granting temporary protection rights, including residence permits and suitable accommodation.

Since the onset of the Ukraine conflict, Ireland has provided shelter to over 105,000 individuals, in addition to 72,000 international protection applicants from other countries under government protection. Efforts are underway to ensure their eligibility for government benefits.

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