Ireland may oblige Ukrainians to pay for living in the country: what is known
Irish officials are calling for equality in the treatment of vulnerable groups. Thus, the government is considering the possibility of requiring employed Ukrainian refugees to pay for housing. Find out more about when Ireland may charge Ukrainians for accommodation
Ukrainian refugees currently residing in Ireland are seen as potential payers for housing provided by the authorities. This initiative is being discussed in County Kerry, where there are more than 2,700 Ukrainian refugees.
According to independent.ie, local officials are calling for a review of the assistance system and ensuring equal conditions for other vulnerable groups.
Payment for housing in Ireland: details
The idea to demand payment for accommodation from employed Ukrainian refugees was proposed by Martin Grady, an independent councillor from Killarney, during a meeting of the county council.
He pointed out that there are about 15,000 Ukrainian refugees working in the country, and those who are unemployed receive social assistance of 220 euros per week. At the same time, refugees from other countries receive only 39 euros per week.
The official explained his position, noting that it is unjustified to accept payment for accommodation from those who receive full-time wages and do not pay contributions to cover housing and utility costs, which are at record highs.
He also added that last year, €1.3 billion was allocated to help Ukrainian refugees, and in 2023 this amount is expected to increase to more than €2 billion for accommodation and social support.
"I am not suggesting that we take away the roof over their heads. But I am asking Minister Roderick O'Gorman (Minister for Integration - Ed.) to review the current system and ensure equality," Grady said.
Other MPs have not yet expressed support for the idea of paying for accommodation, as it could lead to the impression that "refugees fleeing war are unwelcome in this country."
However, politicians are open to considering amendments regarding means-testing of refugees.
As you know, Ireland has granted asylum to almost 94 thousand Ukrainians, and as a result, the availability of free housing has ended. A significant number of Ukrainians were accommodated in hotels for free.
We remind you! Earlier, we wrote that Ukrainians who have found refuge in Ireland will be able to obtain permanent residence in the country. Read more about when the relevant draft law will be prepared in our material.
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