Politics watch: Cabinet division over refugee response

Politics Watch: Cabinet Division Over Refugee Response
Here, we have a look at the political issues that will dominate Dáil proceedings in the coming week.
Share this article
James Cox

Here, we have a look at the political issues that will dominate Dáil proceedings in the coming week.

Tensions over refugee response

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Tánaiste Micheál Martin have sought to play down reported tension in Cabinet around the State's response to housing Ukrainian refugees.


However, there may well be more to this.

A Cabinet source told The Irish Times that it was among “the most divisive, heated discussions there has been” in the current Government.

The three coalition leaders have said that Ireland’s offering to people fleeing the Russian invasion of Ukraine would need reassessment as tens of thousands more arrivals are expected next year.

A discussion at Cabinet reportedly suggested setting a three-month limit on the period that the State is obliged to provide accommodation for Ukrainian refugees.


There are concerns that the current open-ended arrangement would leave no accommodation left for the 30-50,000 Ukrainian refugees expected to arrive next year.

The proposal would mean that after three months, Ukrainian refugees would have to find a place to live in the private sector.

Migrant groups are opposed to the proposals.

Government ministers have repeatedly declared their pride in Ireland's response to Ukrainian refugee arrivals since Russia's invasion in February 2022.

Opposition TDs will undoubtedly raise the uncertainty over it in the week ahead.

Health funding

Health funding has been a hotly-debated topic in Leinster House and will undoubtedly continue to be one.

The Department of Health had bid for an additional €2 billion to maintain existing levels of service (ELS) into 2024, but only received €700 million in ELS funding in a total budget allocation of €22.5 billion, meaning it is facing a shortfall of €1.3 billion for next year.

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald called it "mind-boggling" and "disastrous" and Government can expect continued criticism in this vein over the course of the week.


Read More

Message submitting... Thank you for waiting.

Want us to email you top stories each lunch time?

Download our Apps
© BreakingNews.ie 2024, developed by Square1 and powered by PublisherPlus.com