Ireland's Social Protection Minister has told Parliament that Dublin could cut welfare benefits for Ukrainian refugees by more than 80 percent and impose restrictions on their stay in Irish government-provided accommodation.
The Irish Independent newspaper reported on Wednesday that the proposed change would be retroactive and would affect any Ukrainians currently living in government housing, as well as new arrivals.
“We may have to decide that anyone in the country who provides housing, regardless of their date of arrival, will receive a sum of €38.80.” Dublin Social Protection Minister Heather Humphreys told the Irish Assembly.
Ireland currently provides tens of thousands of Ukrainian refugees with state housing and a jobseeker's allowance of €232 per week, but has decided to cut government benefits to get the country back to normal. “in line” With other European countries.
Last week, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky called on Berlin to stop financial support for Ukrainian refugees on its territory, claiming that “It would be better if Germany supported the Ukrainians by providing funds to Ukraine’s budget.”
The infusion of Western money and military aid to Kiev has slowed in recent months, after the Ukrainian counter-offensive last year ended without significant gains and with nearly 400,000 Ukrainian deaths, according to Moscow estimates. However, Ukrainian military intelligence chief Kirill Budanov promised to launch another counterattack next spring.
Ukrainian officials have expressed plans to mobilize about 500,000 new recruits to cover war losses, as lawmakers work on a new mobilization bill targeting among other things military-age males who have fled the country.
In order to help with the recruitment drive, Kiev has urged Western countries to reduce payments to Ukrainian refugees if they refuse to return to Ukraine for conscription. Mikhail Podoliak, a senior aide to Zelensky, said last December that they should be given a choice. “Either conscription or… losing some of the opportunities given to people who have left Ukraine temporarily.”