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Payment to households hosting Ukrainian refugees ‘to be made in coming weeks’

Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys said there are almost 27,000 Ukrainians who have been issued with PPS numbers.

A PLAN TO offer financial support to Irish householders taking in Ukrainian refugees could be in operation in the coming weeks.

The Government is looking at offering €400 payments to householders who provide accommodation.

Department of Social Protection officials are assessing the out-workings of the plan.

Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys said today that there are almost 27,000 Ukrainians who have been issued with PPS numbers.

About 14,000 Ukrainians in Ireland are of working age.

Asked about the plan to pay households €400 each month to host refugees, she said: “This is something that government is considering and myself and (Children’s Minister) Roderic O’Gorman and (Public Expenditure) Minister Michael McGrath, and our officials are working up some options there.

“We hope to bring a memo to government very shortly. We now have a Cabinet sub-committee set up specifically to deal with the Ukrainian crisis and we’ll be feeding everything in through that.

“I think it’ll be shortly, it will very soon.”

She said her officials are working through the details of the proposed policy.

“There are a number of issues we need to be clear on before we announce it,”  Humphreys added.

“We are looking at it but to be honest, keep it simple, that’s the best way to administer any assistance.”

The minister would not be drawn on whether the payment would vary depending on the number of persons a household takes in, but said all those details need to be clear when an announcement is made. 

“Keep it simple,” she said, adding that that is always the best method when rolling out any new scheme.

A spokesperson for Government said yesterday that such a proposal could be a “week or two away”. 

Humphreys made her comments today at a job recruitment fair in Swords. 

The minister said she was “really heartened to meet members of the Ukrainian community who were in attendance today and met potential employers”.

“We all continue to be horrified by the scenes from Ukraine and the shocking crimes that have befallen the Ukrainian people.

“My officials in the Department of Social Protection are here to help Ukrainian people when it comes initially to securing PPS Numbers and financial supports.

“When Ukrainian Nationals feel the time is right, we are also here to help them upskill, retrain and ultimately finding employment.

“We also know that many employers are keen to offer employment to people from Ukraine.

“I want to thank the employers who are attending the event today for working with us to help jobseekers, whether from Ireland, Ukraine or elsewhere to move into new sectors or new roles post-pandemic.”

With reporting from Christina Finn

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