Asylum seeker weekly allowance rises for adults and children

Daily expenses allowance increases to €38.80 a week for adults and €29.80 for children

Some residents in asylum centres also receive exceptional needs payments, which are made towards clothing costs, transport costs and child-related items such as buggies

Some residents in asylum centres also receive exceptional needs payments, which are made towards clothing costs, transport costs and child-related items such as buggies

 

The weekly allowance payment for asylum seekers living in direct provision is set to rise by €17.20 for adults and €8.20 for children from Monday.

Adults living in asylum centres across the State will receive a daily expenses allowance of €38.80 per week while children will receive €29.80 from Monday as part of payment increases announced last October in the 2019 budget.

Before today adults and children received a weekly allowance of €21.60 per week each.

The direct provision allowance was introduced in 2000 at the weekly rate of IR£15 (€19.10) per adult and IR£7.50 (€9.60) per child.

Case by case basis

Some residents in centres also receive exceptional needs payments under a supplementary welfare allowance scheme. These payments, which are determined on a case by case basis, are made towards clothing costs, transport costs and child-related items such as buggies.

A report published in June 2015 by the working group on the protection process and direct provision, chaired by retired High Court judge Bryan McMahon, called for an increase in the direct provision allowance to €38.74 for adults and €29.80 for children as part of is 173 recommendations.

Right to work

Other recommendations from the report included ensuring asylum seekers received a decision on their application within 12 months and that they be given the right to work.

In June 2018, the Government introduced legislation that enabled asylum seekers who had not had a first decision made on their refugee status and had spent nine months in the country to apply for work.

Nearly 5 per cent of people in direct provision (309 people) have been in the system for seven years or longer, according to the Department of Justice.