icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm
6 Mar, 2024 13:03

Drastic welfare cut expected for Ukrainians living in EU state – media

Ireland’s current level of support is “not sustainable,” Social Protection Minister Heather Humphreys has reportedly warned
Drastic welfare cut expected for Ukrainians living in EU state – media

Ukrainian refugees living in subsidized housing in Ireland may soon see their welfare benefits slashed, Social Protection Minister Heather Humphreys has warned, according to local media. The current arrangement is “not sustainable in the long run,” according to the minister.

The government already has a plan in motion to cut welfare for new arrivals, under which weekly allowances will be reduced from the current €220 ($239) to €38.80 ($42), while housing will now be provided for 90 days rather than indefinitely.

Some 100,000 Ukrainians already in receipt of welfare benefits in Ireland will not be affected – at least for now. When Humphreys explained the policy change to TDs (members of the Irish parliament) in January, she said similar changes “down the road” could affect “anybody in state-provided accommodation, regardless of what date they arrived.” The new rules were expected to come into force by the end of January, but have yet to be signed into law.

Humphreys’ new remarks, which were reported by the Irish Independent on Wednesday, are the strongest yet made by the minister on the matter, the newspaper noted.

Ukrainians who arrived in Ireland in the first waves of 2022 “genuinely had nothing” and needed higher protection, she explained, but “things have changed slightly since then.”

We don’t want this country to be more attractive than any of our other European countries.

Many governments in the EU have been reducing welfare programs for Ukrainian citizens to cut costs and provide an incentive for them to either leave or put more effort into providing for themselves. There is also growing discontent among local populations.

Some people are frustrated at the cost of supporting Kiev’s conflict against Moscow, which their governments pay with taxpayers’ money, and the perceived failure of the Ukrainians to integrate. Many of the refugees have no intention of returning to their home nation anytime soon.

A poll by the charity Ukrainian Action in Ireland showed this week that 53% of Ukrainians living in the republic under temporary protection want to stay long-term, up from around 40% last year.

According to the survey, over 40% of such people are employed, but just 9% of them are working within their profession, despite having a generally high level of education and work experience. The group has blamed the language barrier and the fact that many of them are city dwellers who were settled in rural areas.