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Briefing: Housing 200k Ukrainian refugees could cost billions

According to a government briefing, if Ireland accepts 200,000 Ukrainian refugees it could cost billions annually.

Today at a briefing on the potential cost of accommodating Ukrainian refugees, Ministers were told that the State could pay €400m per year for every 10,000 people taken in, or €2.5 billion for 100,000.

However, the government has already said it is preparing to receive as many as 200,000 new arrivals.

Extrapolating this, if 100,000 refugees cost €2.5 billion, then 200,000 could theoretically cost €5 billion.

Alternatively, if 10,000 arrivals cost the State €400m, 200,000 could cost up to €8 billion.

However, Minister for Public Expenditure Michael McGrath said that refugees taking up employment would offset this somewhat.

“We do anticipate that many of the refugees coming here will want to work and there are employment opportunities in the Irish economy now, and many others will want to return home as soon as it’s safe to do so,” he said.

“So any estimates are just that – they are based on certain assumptions.”

Notably, the more refugees taken in, the less each one is likely to cost as infrastructure will be in place to deal with them in bulk.

This week Justice Minister Helen McEntee said that around 13,500 Ukrainian refugees had arrived in Ireland to date, and that “We’re not going to put a cap on this.”

“I think the more coordinated we are, the more we will be able to respond effectively, whether it’s providing accommodation, whether it’s preparing schools for children, whether it’s making sure we have access to health care for people,” she said, speaking to RTÉ News.

As previously reported by Gript, Ireland will be taking twice as many Ukrainian refugees as countries like France and the United States, despite this countries having vastly larger populations and economies.




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