Direct Provision is a scandal and must be scrapped – Ó Broin
Sinn Féin TD for Dublin Mid-West Eoin Ó Broin has said that the direct provision system is a scandal and that “segregation” is the sole purpose of this dysfunctional system.
Speaking this morning in the Dáil, Deputy Ó Broin said:
“Clondalkin Towers, one of the largest Direct Provision centres in the state, is located in the constituency I represent and, like a lot of politicians, I work very closely with the residents of the centre. I am calling today on the Minister to shut Clondalkin Towers. It is truly not fit for purpose.
“The Direct Provision system is an abuse of human rights. Scrapping and replacing this system is the right thing to do. It is also the right thing to do from a taxpayer’s perspective. For example, €1.7m was spent over a period of seven years by the state on accommodating on average 233 adults and children in Clondalkin Towers.
“On average, it costs, for a family of two adults and two children in direct provision in this facility, about €31,000 per year. It costs approx. €10,000 less per year for the state to provide this family with jobseekers allowance and Housing Assistance Payment. Of course, if the adults were allowed to work, the cost to the state would be even less.
“One of the things that strikes me most about Direct Provision is its purpose. Its purpose is to segregate people from their host community. This in turn makes it more difficult for these residents to develop real relationships with the local community.
“Unfortunately, we have all heard stories of families and individuals who have been treated appallingly within the Direct Provision system; this is coupled with how long the process takes and the fact the people trapped within this system are not being informed at every stage as to the status of their application.
“Once people finally receive their status, the nightmare does not end. We have 400 families trapped in direct provision who have the right to remain and work and who can’t get accommodation. Those people are essentially homeless and direct provision has become their emergency accommodation.
“They’re still on a reduced rate of Job seekers allowance of €19.10 per week, they can’t save for a deposit and there are no additional supports available for them to access private or public housing. I would urge the Minister to consider the same type of housing programme in place for Programme Refugees being available to those transitioning out of Direct Provision too.
“There are also 26,000 undocumented migrants living and working in this State. I would urge the Minister to do what this State is lobbying the US administration for and seriously look at regularising the status of these people.
“Direct provision is a scandal and I think it is about time for every politician in this House to call for the end of this inhumane system and to demand better treatment for those looking for asylum.”