Asylum seekers to have daily expenses allowance means tested under new rules

Asylum Seekers To Have Daily Expenses Allowance Means Tested Under New Rules
There is concern in the Government that some asylum seekers in employment are still claiming daily allowances. Photo: Collins
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Vivienne Clarke

Asylum seekers receiving a daily expenses allowance will see their payments means-tested under new plans due to be introduced next month.

New advice issued by the Government has detailed the plans amid concern in Government that some asylum seekers in employment are still claiming the allowances.


If an international protection applicant lives in accommodation provided by the International Protection Accommodation Services (IPAS), or is on a waiting list to move into accommodation while awaiting a decision on an application, they are entitled to a daily expenses allowance of €38.80 per week for an adult and €29.80 per week for a child.

An increased rate of €113.80 per week for an adult applies where a person is unaccommodated and is on a waiting list for IPAS accommodation.

Responding to the measures, the chief executive of the Limerick-based human rights and migrant support group Doras, warned it will push more people into poverty.

John Lannon told RTÉ radio’s News at One that the measure was causing distress and concern and would ultimately cost the State more as people would be pushed into poverty.


“It's quite a sudden announcement. It's already causing distress. It's going to push more people into poverty. People who came here seeking asylum are already struggling to make ends meet. They're marginalised, are often vulnerable. They're at risk of exploitation.

“We're going to have even more people around the country who won't be able to pay for the basics of life, and families are going to be most affected by this proposed change. If you think of a family with one earner getting €125 week, say with three children, there is no child benefit paid to them because people in the system are already excluded from that payment. They're going to be hit particularly hard in September when children return to school.”

Mr Lannon pointed out that this measure had been introduced without consultation.

“Those of us working in the sector know that asylum seekers are already struggling to get by. And if you look at people, particularly in remote centres, there are additional costs that are not taken into consideration.”


He said there were transport costs, to get to and from work, and medical costs. “€125 does not go very far. So this threshold is far too low when it comes to stopping the daily expense allowance.

“I'd certainly have to ask the Minister what the motivation for this sudden move is?”

He said this was a decision that would push more people into poverty, and bring in other costs, not just for the individuals affected, but also for the State. “We would call on the government now, at the very least, to pause this decision until a proper analysis of the impact and of the savings has been done.”

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