Spending on Direct Provision to reach its highest level in 21 years

The Houses of the Oireachtas Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) has confirmed that spending on Direct Provision accommodation is expected to increase to over €229 million in 2021.  

This represents a €21 million increase on the spending allocated for 2020.

The details are contained in the PBO analysis of the Government’s proposal to Dáil Éireann for spending on Children, Equality, Disability, Integration & Youth in 2021.

The €229 million estimate for 2021 would be the largest ever allocation for Direct Provision since the year 2000, when the system of direct provision was first introduced in Ireland following a significant increase in the numbers applying for asylum here.

According to the PBO analysis, the record level of spending reflects “the need to provide safer living conditions during the pandemic for those in the system and the existing difficulties for some residents in exiting the system and securing alternative accommodation.”

It is possible to put the scale of the present increase in funding allocation into context by observing the outcome of the 2019 review of Direct Provision system conducted by the Irish Government Economic and Evaluation Service (IGEES) unit of the Department of Justice and Equality.

That review concluded that in the year 2018, expenditure on Direct Provision reached €78 million. This was the highest level of spending since 2010.

Provisional figures provided by the Reception and Integration Agency, who manage the Direct Provision service further indicated that this would exceed €120 million in 2019, based on current trends.

This means that the 2021 allocation represents an almost 100% increase on the 2019 spend.

Parliamentary budget

 

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