Means-testing asylum seekers aims to ensure system is fair, says McEntee

Means-Testing Asylum Seekers Aims To Ensure System Is Fair, Says Mcentee
Helen McEntee, © PA Wire/PA Images
Share this article

By Gráinne Ní Aodha, PA

Government plans to means-test asylum seekers is about ensuring there is a fair system in place, Minister for Justice Helen McEntee has said.

Ms McEntee said Social Protection Minister Heather Humphreys is currently looking at means-test plans to be introduced next month, saying the move is based on a recommendation from the Comptroller and Auditor General.


Under the plans, international protection applicants will have their welfare payments cut if they are employed and earning more than €125 a week.

The Government has already reduced the social welfare payments for Ukrainian refugees who arrived after March from the jobseekers’ rate of €232 to €38.80 per week.

Last week, it announced Ukrainians who fled to Ireland between 2022 and early 2024 and are living in state-provided accommodation will also have their allowances cut in the next three months.



The changes will not affect Ukrainians living in pledged accommodation and the private rental sector who arrived in Ireland before March this year.

Ms McEntee told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland programme on Friday: “That’s really to bring everybody in line to make sure that those who are here, those who have access to work, those who are available to provide for themselves, that they can provide for themselves. That’s why these payments are changing.”


Asked whether the Government has assessed “what you’re dealing with” before implementing the policy, Ms McEntee said: “This has nothing to do with the numbers.

“What we’re saying is that if a person is working – and this applies to anyone in the system, this isn’t just for those of international protection or those coming from Ukraine – if a person is working and a person has the means to provide themselves, to fund themselves, to house themselves, then they shouldn’t be getting higher level of state intervention or funding, and that applies to anybody in this country.

“We need to make sure that our rules are fair, and that they apply across the board.

“This is not about how many we can take out of the system. This is about making sure that we have a fair system that applies to people equally across the board.”


Read More

Message submitting... Thank you for waiting.

Want us to email you top stories each lunch time?

Download our Apps
© 2024, developed by Square1 and powered by