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Illustration: JTB


Above: illustrator JTB provided us with this piece of art for this article on asylum ages ago.


The state has just announced it’s jacking up the direct provision allowance paid to kids by a whole six quid. It’s the first increase in 16 years and not surprisingly multiple organisations are coming out heavy on the critique. Right they are too.

A number of press releases have landed in our inbox, if you skip pass the perfunctory bowing down to the greater wisdom of the man that must accompany these sort of things if you are a funded NGO, there’s not much love for the increase.

Tanya Ward, Chief Executive of the Children’s Rights Alliance and member of the Working Group on the Protection Process, says:

“As a member of the Working Group, I was deeply upset to witness first-hand the poverty that children in direct provision must endure. This increase – which will barely cover the cost of a bottle of Calpol – can only be seen as a gesture of goodwill. Our welcome is given with a strict proviso that the full increase to their payment be secured in the short-term.”

June Tinsley, Head of Advocacy, Barnardos, said:

“While any increase is a move in the right direction, it is difficult to see the justification for such a paltry increase – less than a third of what the working group recommended and still far short of what they need. The direct provision system is no place for children and this increase will do precious little to change that. It must be abolished.”

Grainia Long, CEO, ISPCC, said:

“ISPCC staff have worked with families in Direct Provision and seen the hardship caused by the inadequate level of financial support.  We’ve heard from mothers trying to save an extra egg to bake a birthday cake for a child, and from children who have never known anything other than basic conditions in institutional settings.  The modest increase from ministers is welcome, but it falls short of what children need, and will ultimately mean that children in Direct Provision remain woefully unsupported by the Irish state in 2016.”

If that example of the price of a bottle of Calpol isn’t stringent enough for you, then take a gander back through Irish Refugee Council’s campaign on Twitter around how far the original payment of €9.60 went.

Sure you might get another cup of coffee and a scone in Keoghs now.

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