6 Jan 2016
Child Direct Provision Payment Increase will have Limited Impact
While the Government’s announcement to increase the Direct Provision Allowance (DPA) for children by an additional €6 – the first increase in almost 16 years – is welcome, it will have minimal impact on families; said three leading children’s organisations, the Children’s Rights Alliance, Barnardos and the ISPCC. The increase brings the payment to €15.60 per week for each child, however, this commitment falls far short of the recommended increase to €29.80 as put forward by the Working Group Report on the Protection Process in June 2015.
The three organisations acknowledge the leadership of the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton, TD in securing this increase. They also recognise the support and commitment of the Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald, TD and Minister of State with responsibility for New Communities, Culture and Equality and Drugs Strategy, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, TD. However, the Government must as a matter of urgency move on its own Working Group Report recommendation to increase the payment to €29.80.
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.”
For further information, please contact:
Emma McKinley, Communications & Development Manager, Children’s Rights Alliance
Tel: 01 662 9400 / 087 655 9067 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Note for Editors
The following are available for interview:
• Tanya Ward, Chief Executive, Children’s Rights Alliance
• June Tinsley, Head of Advocacy, Barnardos
• Grainia Long, CEO, ISPCC