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Direct Provision

'Building a New Social Contract – Policy Recommendations’ contains more than eighty specific policy recommendations that would go a considerable direction towards a new social contract to improve the quality of life and wellbeing of everyone and ensure that a no-one is left behind as our economy and society recovers from the impact of Covid-19.

The most pressing piece of health advice, apart from washing your hands, to come out of the COVID-19 pandemic is the need for social distancing.  But for thousands of people living in emergency homeless accommodation, Direct Provision, refuges and Travellers living in cramped conditions, social distancing just isn’t an option.  The announcement yesterday of 650 spaces being made available is a welcome step, but doesn’t go nearly far enough.  There are over 245,000 vacant properties across Ireland.  Property website Daft.ie reported a 13% increase in rental advertisements this month.  Now is the time to utilise emergency powers and #MoveTheVulnerableOut.

Today, Wednesday, 18th December 2019 is UN International Migrants' Day.  According to the CSO, some 12.7% of the population, 622,700 people, are non-Irish.  Earlier this month, Minister Charlie Flanagan welcomed 2,000 new citizens to Ireland in a citizenship ceremony in Kerry, while a reported 127,000 people have been conferred with Irish citizenship since 2011.  This is great news.  Ireland, with its history of emigration, should be a country of one hundred thousand welcomes.  However, as three reports published just this month show, we do not always welcome all equally.

Social Justice Ireland makes the case for an increase in core social welfare rates of €9 per week for single people in Budget 2020 to ensure the welfare benchmark is maintained at the Pre-Budget Forum in Dublin Castle.

Ireland's current means for accommodating asylum seekers is increasingly unfit for purpose, and the practice of keeping people in such circumstances for in some cases several years is inhuman.