Cabinet agrees to cut supports for new arrivals from Ukraine

There are approximately 500 new arrivals from Ukraine every week.

The Government cannot predict if there will be a reduction of arrivals from Ukraine, a spokesman has said, as it advanced changes to slash supports for those fleeing the war.

There are approximately 500 new arrivals from Ukraine every week, but the Government said it is difficult to predict if this number will rise or fall.

It comes as Cabinet signed off on changes for the supports for people fleeing the war in Ukraine, to whom Ireland has obligations under the EU temporary protection directive.

The Government said its current offering is unsustainable and changes were needed to meet obligations to future arrivals.

It will soon limit the amount of time that State-provided accommodation will be provided to Ukrainians to 90 days, while also drastically cutting the financial support they are given during that period.

It said the changes bring Ireland’s package of supports in line with other western European countries.

The changes remove access to most social welfare benefits to beneficiaries of temporary protection (BOTPs) while they are living in State-provided accommodation.

It will instead establish a weekly payment to BOTPs while they are living in State-provided accommodation in lieu of social welfare payments.

In effect, arrivals from Ukraine will receive a weekly expenses allowance of 38.80 euro – down from the current jobseekers’ allowance rate of 232 euro per week.

They will still have access to child benefit and additional needs payments if they meet eligibility requirements.

They will also be required to engage with the State’s employment service.

The changes will only apply to Ukrainians arriving in the State after the legislation to cut the financial supports is enacted as expected at the end of the month or early February.

There is no change for the Ukrainians who have already arrived in the State.

There have been more than 101,200 arrivals from Ukraine in Ireland, with 74,500 people currently living in State-provided accommodation.

More than 16,000 are currently in employment.