Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Equality, Immigration and Integration Fiona O’Loughlin TD says the decision to increase the weekly Direct Provision Allowance is a positive development, but further work is needed to improve living conditions in Direct Provision centers. While progress has been made in reducing the time spent in Direct Provision, more needs to be done.

The Working Group on the Protection Process undertook an in-depth examination of the Direct Provision system and presented its findings in June 2015. Many of the 150 recommendations remain to be implemented.

Deputy O’Loughlin said, “The Working Group on the Protection Process offers a reasonable pathway to overhauling the Direct Provision system to make it fit for purpose and comfortable for those living within it. The fact that many of the recommendations remain to be implemented two years after its publication is disappointing.

“The decision to increase the weekly Direct Provision Allowance from €15.60 to €21.60 is certainly a step in the right direction, but this alone will do little to assist people who are essentially trapped in the system. The Working Group called for the payment to be increased to €38.74 and Fianna Fáil continues to support this recommendation.

“It’s important that people living in Direct Provision are given an opportunity to participate in the social, cultural and religious life of the communities in which they live. This will assist in achieving successful integration in the long run. Failure to achieve this will lead to serious socio-economic issues as has been the case in other countries. There needs to be a clear pathway for people to exit Direct Provision and begin a fulfilling life within the community.”