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Ukrainian refugees at the Polish border Alamy Stock Photo
ukrainian refugees

Government considering monthly €400 payment for households who host Ukrainian refugees

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said that Ireland is examining new options for housing Ukrainian refugees.

A MONTHLY PAYMENT of €400 for people who take Ukrainian refugees into their home is being considered by the Government.

The €400 payment is being considered to help with the cost of housing Ukrainian refugees and that the Government expects it to be used to cover the cost of increased bills.

The payment will not be automatically applied and households who take in refugees will have to apply to receive the payment.

It is understood that the final payment amount has not yet been decided.

Yesterday, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said that Ireland was examining new options for housing refugees due to some facilities being exhausted.

Martin said that a cap on the number of refugees who could enter the country was not being considered and that there was a duty to look after those who are arriving into Ireland.

“We’re not considering that [cap on refugees] at all, we’re looking at looking after people as they come into the country,” said Martin.

“It means new options and different options given that we’ve exhausted a lot of facilities already but we’re consistently looking at expanding our capacities and looking at it, not just in the short-term but in the medium-term.”

Justice Minister Helen McEntee said yesterday that “every option” is being explored to house Ukrainian refugees and that the Government will encourage people to offer space in their homes rather than forcing anyone.

“We want to encourage people to come forwards, not to force anybody to have to give up their property or accommodation,” McEntee said.

She also backed the proposal for financial aid for households that take in Ukrainian refugees.

“There are people who are looking for it, there are others who aren’t, but I think obviously if we get to a situation where we want to encourage more people to offer up accommodation, that might be an option,” McEntee told reporters yesterday.

“We’re very aware that there’s an increase in costs in electricity and fuel, even in food prices.

“So I think what we’d have to establish is how we would cover those costs. I don’t think anybody’s looking to make money out of this.”

Government sources have confirmed that “a lot of detail” about the scheme has yet to be worked out and the proposal is unlikely to go to Cabinet on Tuesday, but rather in another week or two. 

Once signed off on, sources state it would take a while to operationalise.

Approximately 25,000 Ukrainian refugees have arrived into Ireland since the war broke out in late February, with approximately 16,000 of them seeking accommodation.

Numbers of refugees arriving into the country have stalled in recent days, however the Government does expect figures to rise in the weeks ahead.

Additional reporting by Christina Finn

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