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Helping out Ukrainians will create a ‘new crisis’ says TD

July 13th, 2022 5:05 PM

By Southern Star Team

Deputy Michael Collins (pictured) said the decision by the government to ‘effectively shut down any debate on the financial or social impact of an open-door policy on immigration’ is reckless and ‘profoundly disturbing’.

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CORK South West TD Michael Collins has said Ireland’s decision not to limit immigration is ‘reckless’.

The independent deputy – who is alligned to the Rural Independent group in the Dáil – said the decision by the government to ‘effectively shut down any debate on the financial or social impact of an open-door policy on immigration’ is reckless and ‘profoundly disturbing’.

‘We have 122,000 people languishing on some form of a housing waiting list for years, and 10,000 children and adults in an almost permanent state of homelessness,’ he said.

‘We have 7,400 people in direct provision, the abolition of which has now been pushed out beyond 2024 due to increasing numbers of arrivals and non-existent accommodation capacity,’ he continued, adding: ‘Yet, despite this, the newfound priority for Government is not to change course, but to double down on the promotion of a policy that supports unlimited immigration inflow.’

He said the open door policy will cost Ireland ‘hundreds of millions of euro’ which, he claimed, is a ‘gross underestimate’ of the real costs.

And he said that every 1,000 Ukrainian refugees accommodated in a hotel will cost the country €33m a year.

He continued: ‘The health, social protection, and education costs alone will run to hundreds of millions, with a reported overall allocation exceeding €3bn for 2023.

‘This is almost equivalent to our entire transport budget.

‘Yet, we have had zero debate on the costs or implications to the taxpayer who is ultimately forced to foot the bill.’

He said the matter ‘should be discussed calmly and rationally’ because we ‘do not have houses, nor the skills capacity to build and provide accommodation at the scale required. We cannot respond to one crisis by creating another crisis here at home.’

‘If we believe that Ireland can do better,’ said the Goleen deputy ‘then we cannot be bullied into silence by a loudly manipulative minority of political elites.’

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