New spending on direct provision
Sir, – Thankyou for the series on 20 years of Direct Provision. Just as the system is being discussed in your pages, so too is it being discussed in the Oireachtas, and soon at the United Nations, where Ireland’s compliance with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD) will be examined.
Given that we are waiting for the outcome of these important reviews, why is the Government rushing to spend €320 million on new contracts to expand the current system? If past practice holds, the vast majority of this money will go into the coffers of private landlords and for-profit enterprises.
Earlier this year, the Oireachtas Committee on Justice and Equality heard testimony from experts on how to improve the asylum process, including people who have direct experience seeking international protection in Ireland.
The advice of those experts ranged from tendering with mission-driven non-profit organisations for housing to replacing the system altogether.
If the status quo becomes more entrenched, it will only make it harder to implement changes that experts and ordinary people increasingly call for. – Yours, etc,