Irish government plans to significantly reduce support for refugees from Ukraine: what will change
Ireland is considering cutting back on its support program for Ukrainians who have taken refuge in the country since the start of the full-scale invasion. In particular, they are considering limiting free accommodation and cutting social benefits. Read more about the changes in this article
Ireland is considering revising its support program for Ukrainians. It is assumed that free accommodation for newly arrived refugees may be limited to three months. The government is also considering cutting social benefits to Ukrainians, The Irish Examiner reports.
Ireland wants to cut support for Ukrainians: what is known
The Department of the Prime Minister of Ireland and the Department of Integration are currently working on a new program for refugees from Ukraine. It is expected that the relevant draft will soon be submitted to the Cabinet of Ministers.
The main change will be to limit the period of free accommodation at the expense of the state. After three months of living in public housing, Ukrainians will have to look for an apartment for rent or use the options offered under the "housing supply" scheme. These restrictions will apply only to newcomers to the country.
A government source says that the accommodation restrictions will bring Ireland in line with other EU countries. For example, in the Czech Republic, Ukrainian refugees are allowed to live in public housing for a maximum of 150 days, and in Poland - 120 days, after which they must pay 50% of the cost of living, and after 180 days - 75%.
Ireland is also considering a significant reduction in social benefits for Ukrainians
The Irish government is planning to consider cutting social benefits for Ukrainians, although this is not expected to happen in the near future. Currently, the country provides weekly payments of 220 euros to refugees from Ukraine.
As of October 5, 40,995 adults were receiving such assistance. In addition, assistance was provided for 20,414 children, and 197 applications for housing rent supplements were approved. Income reports indicate that about 15 thousand Ukrainians work in Ireland, most of them in the hospitality sector.
In particular, documentation prepared for a recent Cabinet meeting on Ukraine noted that Ireland's approach differs from that of other EU countries, as it provides significant state support and a wide range of services, including income and accommodation assistance. Officials believe that the current approach is not effective and requires a new model of assistance.
How many Ukrainians are currently in Ireland?
Almost 97 thousand Ukrainians are currently seeking refuge in Ireland. More than 73 thousand of them are provided with public housing, which costs about 1.5 billion euros annually.
At the same time, new Ukrainians continue to arrive every day - up to 200 people a day.
As you know, Ireland has also recently made changes to the rules of stay for Ukrainians. In particular, as of October 9, the right to a seven-day free stay (within 6 months) in hotels paid for by the state was canceled. Now, those who leave the hotel for a long period of time may lose their beds.
We remind you! Ukraine's airspace is still closed, so to make your trip comfortable and fast, you need to plan your route in advance. Find out how easy it is to come to Ukraine from Ireland and what you need to cross the Ukrainian border.
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The simultaneous stay of visitors in the hotel lobby not more than one person per 10 square meters of serviceable area is allowed.
Persons can visit hotels and stay there (outside hotel room) only if they wear respirator or face mask (including homemade mask), so that the nose and mouth are covered.
Hotel guests are obliged to keep the 1.5 meters distance.
Online check-in making in advance is recommended to avoid queues at check-in to hotel.
Meals in hotels are provided through meals delivery service to rooms upon prior order or at hotel restaurants situated inside or in open areas, provided the distance of at least 1.5 meters between seats at adjacent tables.
Not more than 4 clients are allowed to stay at the table (excluding children under 14 years old). Unless these tables are separated by a special partition;
Self-serve is not allowed.