Council calls on Government to bring in Child Benefit for children in Direct Provision

Council calls on Government to bring in Child Benefit for children in Direct Provision

Irish Refugee Council has called on the Government to extend Child Benefit to children in Direct Provision in tomorrow's Budget.

Their submission also calls for a rise in legal aid to increase the amount of time a solicitor can spend helping a person seeking asylum with their application.

They are also calling for an increase in the Direct Provision payment to €38.74 a week, the amount recommended by the McMahon Report, published in 2015, and accepted by the Government.

The CEO of the Irish Refugee Council, Nick Henderson, said: “While payment is often understood to be a universal benefit, it is not universally applied because children living in Direct Provision are not entitled to it.

"Instead, they receive a weekly allowance of €21.60 a week, an allowance that has only been increased once since Direct Provision was established in the early 2000s.

“Every year, over €330 million is paid in Child Benefit to households with an income above €100,000, while children living in Direct Provision are experiencing the very real and acute consequences of child poverty."

Council calls on Government to bring in Child Benefit for children in Direct Provision

He said the situation was unfair and urged the Government to rethink the policy.

Policy and Advocacy Officer, Rosemary Hennigan, said: “The benefit of a model based on early legal advice is it improves the quality of first instance decision-making while reducing the cost to the State of appeals and judicial review proceedings.

"It also reduces the delays experienced by people awaiting a final decision which means less time spent in the Direct Provision system.”

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