Payment proposals for some in asylum seeker centres ‘a worry for those in direct provision’

In a statement to The Echo, Nasc, the Cork-based Migrant and Refugee Rights Centre, said the uncertainty around the proposal has sparked concern among people living in direct provision centres.
Payment proposals for some in asylum seeker centres ‘a worry for those in direct provision’

“It's hard to see how charging residents of direct provision a 'nominal' fee will do anything to resolve the accommodation shortage." Picture Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

UNCERTAINTY over proposals to seek a payment contribution from some people living in accommodation for asylum seekers is “causing worry for people living in direct provision centres” a Cork charity has said.

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan yesterday said that people living in accommodation for asylum seekers but who have received full refugee status should have to pay rent.

“I think that would apply for some 4,000 people who've now got full status," Mr Ryan told reporters at Castletymon Library in Dublin.

“They're not in Direct Provision, but they're remaining in the same accommodation, and in those circumstances should they be charged? I believe they should.

“They're no longer in the asylum process. They have got their full status.

“I would imagine it's in circumstances like that, that the Government will be considering some payment contribution.” 

Mr Ryan said it was "appropriate" to charge refugees living in centres for asylum seekers due to the scale of the accommodation crisis facing Ireland.

“I can't underestimate the scale of the challenge we have at this moment in time in terms of providing for both people displaced people from Ukraine, but also international protection refugees and our own people," he told reporters in Dublin.

His comments came as on Sunday, Green Party Minister of State Joe O'Brien said the Government is considering charging some people living in serviced accommodation by the State.

Speaking on RTÉ's The Week in Politics, Mr O'Brien said he is not aware what the fee might be but that it will be a "nominal" amount.

"There is a draft paper at the moment that indicates for a limited number of people who may be in serviced accommodation by the State, that there may be some nominal fee paid," he said.

In a statement to The Echo, Nasc, the Cork-based Migrant and Refugee Rights Centre, said the uncertainty around the proposal has sparked concern among people living in direct provision centres.

“It's hard to see how charging residents of direct provision a 'nominal' fee will do anything to resolve the accommodation shortage.

“We haven't seen the details of how the proposed fee will be calculated and the uncertainty is causing worry for people living in direct provision centres,” the centre said, urging the Government “to clarify its plans as soon as possible”.

“There also doesn't seem to be a plan to assist people to find move-on accommodation,” Nasc added.

Meanwhile, Socialist Party TD for Cork North Central Mick Barry said conditions in direct provision centres “are unacceptable without charging people to live there”.

“I have no faith in this Government or ‘the market’ if we are to have decent housing and accommodation for all,” he added.

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