Vouchers instead of cash will be given to people seeking asylum. Housing is to be sought outside of Dublin for the growing numbers arriving in Ireland.

Under the legislation, asylum seekers will no longer be entitled to social welfare payments, which will be replaced by vouchers for food and accommodation. The move has been called retrograde by the anti-racist movement.

It treats people as non-humans. It removes people's own discretion over how they're going to spend their money.

In addition, due to a housing shortage in Dublin, the government has decided to disperse asylum seekers to areas around the country. Asylum seekers say that they have no problem with this plan as long as they are not forced to move against their will. 

Gregor Kerr of the Anti-Racism Campaign says that the government should offer people a choice about whether to move or not. 

In the last two weeks, five hundred asylum seekers have arrived in Ireland. That's a total of five thousand new arrivals so far this year. 

The voucher system is already in place in the UK. Claude Moraes, MEP and Former Director fo the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants in London, describes how this system of vouchers restricts freedom and creates poverty. 


An RTÉ News report broadcast on 19 October 1999. The reporter is Eilis Brennan.